Tall Boab on black. 2023
My BOAB series resulted from a trip last year to northern WA, from Kununurra to El Questro Station and surrounds. These ancient trees reminded me of matriarchal elephants in Africa, where I first encountered them. These trees were known as Baobabs in Africa. These matriarchs dominated and guided their herds, appearing to be ancient, always caring and in control of their ‘family’.
These Boabs up north were sometimes found to be embracing each other, or else grew in close proximity to others, all distinctly different in their structure. The older specimens were massive, imposing, reaching out in all directions, as in the smaller painting, whereas the tall example stood proudly in its arid, rocky, dry landscape, demanding to be noticed. These trees are survivors, their trunks showing decades of wrinkles, wear and tear. Some were thousands of years old.
Their unusual structure, appearing to be ‘upside down’, with roots flailing in the air, each branch angled, demand to be admired and revered.
The smaller painting is a mixture of water-based bitumen, iridescent water colour and acrylic, echoing the rich, earthy tones of their harsh environment.
The tall painting depicts a far younger, spirited, proud ‘sculpture’, hence my choice of metallic, acrylic paint.