Exhibit MACGlenorchy Open 2020

Eucalyptus regnans

By 22/04/2020June 18th, 2020No Comments

Raymond Wittenberg
eucalyptus regnans, 2020
oil on canvas
152 x 50cm
I can barely imagine what this Glenorchy landscape must have looked like before white settlement. It seems simple today, the northern reaches of white settlement on the Derwent estuary have turned a wilderness into streets and suburbs. As an artist and conservationist I spend time imagining what this country might have looked like before suburbia. There will have been forests and floods and people just like us speaking a different language within a different and enduring culture. There will have been fires just as there is today but the wildlife and the people will have anticipated those fires and moved away, perhaps across the river, and understood that this was nature’s way, and that a burnt forest will regenerate and twenty four months later it will be bursting with life again. Today it is complicated, when wildlife needs to escape a bush fire it becomes entangled in fences, in suburbia, traffic or industrial areas and once the forest is burnt it too may not return, the regrowth is managed so fires are less likely to happen and the tall forests will not reappear well past our lifetime. I painted these two trees because I fell in love with their spirit, their desire to make the most out of simple needs, to grow as tall as all the other trees and snatch as much of the sunlight as they care. I’ve been painting similar wilderness themes all my life. I’ve lived in southern tasmania for five years now and I came because of these trees. Last year’s fire near Geeveston may have destroyed these two particular trees, I hope not but I’m prepared for what maybe when I visit them in the near future.

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