An image of Deep Rock

Lyndell Brown

(Australia 19 Apr 1961 – )

Charles Green

(Australia 1953 – )

Deep Rock

Not on display
Further information

Brown and Green's collaborative art practice was deeply affected by their time as official war artists in Afghanistan in 2007. Apart from the confronting nature of the conflict they witnessed, this experience turned the artists back to their earlier interest in history and representation, of how contemporary events intersect with the legacies of past histories which also inform how we experience place and landscape.

Deep rock layers various images over and behind each other, making space and perspective deceptive and hard to locate. The landscape at the top of the painting is reflected in water which seems to extend into the sky and water below. This distinctively Australian scene of river cliffs and water is the place on the Yarra river where Fred Williams painted his last major series of landscapes. A postcard of Caravaggio's painting of Narcissus reflected in the water mirrors the edge where cliff and river meet, while other crumpled images float across the work including an image of an bombed Pakistani military outpost, a Japanese print next to an old painting of a trading port, torn and crumpled paper with text that refers to climate change and a refugee boat at the lower right sailing beneath the mirage of natural beauty. A Tibetan figure in a ritualistic skeleton costume lies in the path of the boat.

The drift of information and image in this work, painted with a seductive technical ability, is both alluring and confusing. Deliberately hard to read as narrative, it presents fragments of information that seem to hover between utopian and dystopian views of the enduring physical beauty of the world and the human events which unfold against it. The collage of images and references layers the artist's personal memories and associations with broader cultural and political events – the way in which all our memories intersect with much larger events and histories than we may have personally experienced.

oil on linen
168.0 x 167.5 cm stretcher
Signature & date

Signed and dated upper l. verso canvas, pencil "Lyndell Brown Charles Green/...2011..."

Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2012
Accession number
© Lyndell Brown and Charles Green