An image of Black music

David Aspden

(Australia, England 01 May 1935 – 26 Jun 2005)

Black music

Not on display
Further information

Late in his career Aspden reasserted the centrality of colour and music to his work, describing the synaesthetic relationship between them as the core of his practice. He referred to colour in musical terms – harmony, variation and discord – and associated it with nature and landscape:

'What are the colours of music? … I am challenged by the colours that can be found in the air, wind and weather, as well as the more easily recognisable colours in the tangible world of nature.'

In a brief handwritten note about this painting, Aspden asserted that ‘… (it refers) to Australia – to Aboriginal sounds’, although he had no knowledge of Indigenous music as such. Rather, the work should be seen as part of Aspden’s ongoing struggle to respond to place, evident since the early 1980s, when he sought to understand his work and himself as an Australian artist.

oil on canvas
150.0 x 244.0 cm stretcher
Signature & date

Signed and dated u.l. corner verso, red fibre-tipped pen "DAVID ASPDEN/ .../ 1995".

D G Wilson Bequest Fund 2004
Accession number
© Karen Aspden