"During and after completing a Master of Fine Art in Painting at the National Art School Sydney in 2010, I continued what had become my annual working trips out into remote and arid regions of Australia. Here I work plein-air with my particular little bush set-up and wherever I can find a bit of shade, from as far north as the Gregory River in far NW QLD, west to SA’s Oodnadatta Track to the Painted Desert and Lake Eyre and up into the Central Desert and the Finke River.
I am overly fond of worn down, ephemeral, barely-there places. They leave such a gracious space for the artist to roam, in all senses. I find lingering after-images in places where deep time has long had its way with the landscape...where it has converted a once teeming with life Cambrian Reef into a showering cascade over the top of a lonely pink mesa, somewhere where I can roam along the original, ancient rim of what was once a vast inland sea, now turned to shining salt. It occurs to me that these transformations resemble the act of painting itself where tremendous shifts in state occur as the image forms. Things appear and disappear. It is also landscape where I have no place, in that this country is supremely indifferent to my footfalls and it is this very anonymity, this rubbing out of persona, that sets me free to discover and invent.
During the Giant Lockdown I returned over and over again in the studio, seeking this familiar erasure and forming up images which are becoming more and more about the big things that hold landscape together, things like Air and Light and Energy. And I ask myself how mark can become a human touchstone for returning these unnameable, nebulous things. The work is now changing from being related to place to being related just to itself. So time is working on this process too. It is taking on its own anonymity." - Catherine Cassidy November 2021