75 cm (w) x 55 cm (h), conté and pastels on acid-free coloured-ground Canson paper.
Date produced: May 2002.
A Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo flies slowly along the valley. Walking across the footbridge, which stretches across the pine forest valley through the cleared area shown in the drawing, often makes me feel as though I am floating, or flying. I deliberately didn’t draw in the bridge, and wanted to draw the scene as if I were floating without the bridge holding me up (which is why I wanted to show the point directly below me). I’ve used a very wide-angled curved-space view, with an exaggerated ‘aerial perspective’ (in the colouring), to help express the forms, structures, and hopefully even the ‘breathing’ air around everything. I applied grids over the surface of the ground and around the tree forms, to help give a stronger sense of form, structure, and orientation.
Drawn partly on-site, in the pine forest at Flinders University, and drawn partly in my studio at home directly from an earlier drawing that was done entirely on-site. A more complete explanation of its development can be found in the Documented Development of a Major Drawing section. I am very proud of what was attempted in this drawing, and what was achieved.
This drawing was packed and held by me (and I often supported it on my feet to minimise the vibrations from the moving train) in the seated section of the Indian Pacific passenger train to take it from Adelaide to Sydney, for entering it in the Art Gallery of New South Wales 2002 Wynne Prize. I eventually needed to re-pack the drawing for bringing it back to Adelaide on the Indian Pacific passenger train. I was pleased that I managed to get the drawing to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and then back to Adelaide without it suffering any real damage (even though the pastel work is unfixed).