University Of Tasmania
NTRO Research Statement Henderson_Geocritical.docx (12.81 kB)
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Geocritical:don't just agitate- decorate

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posted on 2023-05-25, 08:19 authored by Henderson, SJ
Geocritical: don't just agitate - decorate. Sue Henderson (TAS) Geocritical: don't just agitate - decorate is a site-specific painting installation designed for the foyer of Sawtooth, ARI, Launceston. Ink paintings on paper suggest topographies, geological structures and landscape references, including cliff surfaces, ariel views, rock scree, trees and lichens. Works are pasted directly onto the gallery walls with architectural features and the white walls acting as grounds, pictorial elements and framing devices. Gradual tonal and colour transitions of the implied three dimensional patterns and painted surfaces interact with moments of rupture. High places, geology and exploring intimate encounters with natural environments through painting processes have been central to my visual arts practice. I am fascinated with how the material qualities of ink and paint might reflect perceptions, histories and experiences of places. Diverse visual strategies are used in Geocritical: don't just agitate – decorate to negotiate ideas of local natural environments, with influences from Western landscape traditions (the scenic, the Sublime) and patterning derived from domestic interior design. Hand printed lichen motifs in a half drop repeat pattern decorate walls with colours receding and advancing, reminiscent of colour painting exercises or floral wallpaper. Lichens are sensitive to environmental disturbances. The systematic patterning breaks down, lichens colonize other spaces and paintings and react with the visual elements surrounding them. The lichen is a life form composited of an algae and a fungus in a symbiotic relationship, with the combined qualities of the organism reacting differently then the separate. Each individual lichen print surface relies on the background colours to create optical effects, the pattern is dependent on the wall surface. This symbiotic effect is paralleled in the installation where architecture, white walls and the paintings operate in dialogues, offering viewers a visual, physical and imaginative gallery experience.



painting installation


School of Creative Arts and Media


Sawtooth ARI, Launceston


24 days

Event Venue

Sawtooth ARI, Launceston

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright 2014 The Author

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

The creative arts

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