Monday, August 1, 2011

Meet Your Maker: Dale Fort

There is a tranquility to your landscape paintings. Can you tell us where you draw you inspiration from?

I take most of my inspiration from my immediate surroundings. I live in central Victoria out on the fertile plains and surrounded by an endless horizon and monumental skies. The tranquility in my paintings is a result of me being able to be still in the moment in the landscape. To listen and to observe, without noise or clutter that man imposes on the landscape. So in my works I find that I am able to celebrate the majesty of the silence of an horizon that is eternal and so provoke these feelings of tranquility.

What is the process you go through when creating work?

I see my works as gestural studies and responses to the landscape and its ever-changing seasons and moods. So when I approach a new work, I believe that a lot of the work has been done by my daily deciphering of the land I inhabit, and such I am able to employ my gestural mark making process without hesitation; choosing to be inspired by what is going on around me at the moment, be that a mist or a wind or a particular colour in the sky as the moon begins to do her thing, every evening!

Once the quiet story begins to reveal its self…for me, it then becomes a process of layering gestural marks and translucent glazes, building up the surface until I feel some level of harmony and balance has been achieved. In these works, that harmony is all about a silence and stillness, as colour plays a minor part in these twilight landscapes.

Is there a theme that runs through your work or a key message you attempt to convey to the viewer?

In most of my landscapes the horizon usually plays an important role in my process of finding the right balance of sky and land, to suggest a certain depth of field and a feeling of space. With these new works I give the viewer the chance to witness those still and silent moments when the moon rises above the constant horizon, illuminating a glimmering twilight landscape. I would like people to pause in front of these works and enjoy the stillness and the silence that I am trying to convey in these intimate, spatial nocturnes.

What can we expect from you stockroom show “Nocturnes”?

My works from previous exhibitions have been mostly large works on paper; gestural works full of colour and movement. With this body of work, I have chosen a much smaller format: 16 or so small works on linen and canvas, which accompany larger works informed by these smaller studies. Nocturne refers to a romantic nocturnal landscape that captures the softness of the evening twilight. All of the works are called nocturne and all are crepuscular landscapes…that is they all pertain to a study of twilight glimmerings and on an intimate scale.

Have you found your favourite landscape?

Hard to answer…there are many but I do also have a few favorites. “Moonrise” by David Davies will always inspire and hence has, but I would also like to mention a work by the Zen calligraphy artist called Kim Hoa Tom, a unique artist who provides a great insight into the interconnections between illusion and the mind. The work “Becoming one” I saw in an Exhibition of his, which happened to be called “moon in Reflection”. It is an image of a meditating monk with his chanting and meditations becoming an undulating landscape around him. Monk becoming mountain and moon rising, man and nature are interchangeable and have become one. This is also a theme I investigate in my work, the connection I, and we, all have to the land and the cosmos.

You can see Dale Fort's new show "Nocturnes" at Stockroom from August 20 - September 11.