The image is archetypal: a deserted, late-1950s public swimming pool, past its use-by date and perhaps superseded by one of the shiny new sports and aquatic centres that seem to be popping up all over Australian suburbia.
‘This painting is part of on-going series of works that celebrate a synthesis of memory and place, where architecture and landscape become a symbol of something nostalgic, if not elegiac,’ explains artist Christopher McVinish, whose oil painting Closed until further notice suggests a faded colour snapshot.
Notes McVinish, ‘Many people have special memories of summers spent at the local pool. Municipal swimming pools hold a special place in the Australian psyche: learning to swim; teenage romance; family and community coming together’. ‘Sadly, public pools are closing down all over the country and becoming a thing of the past.’
The award-winning Brisbane-born artist lives and works in the Blue Mountains. He has held more than 30 solo exhibitions in Australia, and participated in numerous other exhibitions both at home and overseas.
‘I have drawn on the past as well as the present in my quest to find meaning in the mundane,’ McVinish says. ‘I intend my paintings to provoke a narrative in the imagination of the viewer and, in doing so, enable the viewer to exist temporarily in someone else’s world — as if suddenly transported to a place where other lives exist and time has been suspended. I want my paintings to have an air of expectancy and strangeness — these are places where something has just happened or is about to happen.’
‘I think of it like hitting the pause button while watching a movie. In a memorable movie, the images remain with you long after the film has finished.’