Vol 41(3) - Summer house
Tasmanian artist David Keeling’s landscapes reflect not only the beauty of his surroundings, they also serve as a conduit for his concerns about the environment and contemporary society. In Summer house, a glimpse of a pathway through russet autumnal trees is framed and hemmed in by the blank, featureless walls and floor of an architectural view of a house.
Keeling says his work deals with nature and culture. “On one level I am obsessed with the process, and on another level it allows me to reflect on the world around me. For me the best images are the ones that leave the viewer questioning.”
“I believe that if landscape is to survive as a form, then we cannot rely on the Romantic or Nostalgic any longer. Too much is at stake to retreat into the comfortable view. For this reason I try in my work to take account of our relationship with nature.”
“It’s the reason I construct my images so deliberately, why for instance an object sits in a landscape in a particular way or that there is evidence of a human presence – historical and contemporary – echoing through a ‘view’.”
The Hobart-based artist studied film and fine art before becoming a teacher, but 15 years ago decided to devote himself to full-time painting. He has since won numerous awards and is the only artist to have twice won the Glover Prize – Australia’s richest dedicated landscape award.
Keeling’s work is held in major public and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of South Australia, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery.