Go Gently Into The Light: The Lightscapes Of David Green
David Green paints about the world around us, the space – time in which objects, the sun, the Earth, ourselves, move, exist. When we think of space – time in this way, then memories are no longer in the past they are just in another space time; they coexist with the space time of us remembering them. In the same way we can wonder whether Green’s memories committed to canvas are as real as the actual events. Einstein would say, yes, they are, they just occupy a different space time. But Green does more than provoke such a radical way of thinking about time …and space; he also gives the viewer a reality which is not just a memory but which has an existence of its own.
Green’s paintings, as well as being about landscape, are also profoundly about paint. His preoccupation is with the sub-alpine areas of Tasmania and New Zealand but his beautifully worked surfaces are also just as much about paint marks, paint marks in greys, olives, greens, browns, which render his works understated, mysterious, ineffable, sublime, and as timeless as the “landscapes, endless horizons and the subtle shifts of light at the start and end of the day,” which he says inspires his work.
Like Philip Wolfhagen, Green has made a motif out of an obsession with a particular sense of time and place; the first light and last light, over the wilderness. He has honed his skills in the use of a narrow range of colours and subject matter until he has achieved an extraordinary level of rendering alive and ethereal with the blue-grey-green-olives of nature at dawn and at dusk. His delicate brushwork, soft blending and expressive mark making bring the canvas to life crying out for understanding, appreciation and respect; to be seen. His ability to capture the light of particular moments in space-time has become a thing of great beauty and moves us to emotion. Through his manipulation of paint he creates powerful moods which convey emotions of fragility, frailty, melancholy and simultaneously majesty and grandeur; in a way which can make us feel humble, grateful and profoundly and deeply meditative.
There is an underlying spirituality to Green’s work which calls us to recognise the gentle and humble as well as the grand. Green’s paintings champion the wilderness and its fragility. Simultaneously they champion a sense of the numinous and the mystical The beautiful mists and clouds, rivers and lakes, and mountains and forests Green remembers are rendered into powerful messages about nature and all that nature represents. Hope perhaps that we can recover a respectful and mutual relationship with Gaia before our frantic chase to find ourselves takes us over the edge and into the darkness.
The enduring motif of Green’s work is the twilight, a time to reflect, to consider, to weigh up the purposes of our journeys, a time perhaps to meditate (or pray, if that is our thing), for a gentle dawn, for our souls and spirits to be nurtured by the universe which begot us.
Already that rare thing, an artist who cannot keep up with the demand for his work, Green will undoubtedly be an artist of great renown in history books to come, something he will richly deserve.
David Giles August 2016