An image of Scrambling, climbing, flying and moving through the Cobboboonee Forest

John Walter Wolseley

(England, Australia 21 Apr 1938 – )

Scrambling, climbing, flying and moving through the Cobboboonee Forest

Not on display
Further information

This major watercolour comes from a transitional period in John Wolseley’s practice, in which his subjects were moving from ‘dry’ (eg bushfires, deserts) to ‘wet’ (wetlands, swamps). This transition was marked most obviously in his use of materials - charcoal giving way to watercolour - reflecting the nature of his subjects. He described the work thus: ‘… [In this work] I try to describe the experience of moving through a mature forest…… In this case I am in the Cobboboonee forest towards the South Australian border – dragging my feet through the leaf-litter, hands grasping the trunks and branches of the trees, eyes up in the tracery of the branches with the songs of the birds in the air around me. Carbon is present here in all its many forms, exhaled and released in the breath and song of the birds and an air-borne sugar glider, and in the charcoal of burnt branches. And at the same time, inhaled and contained in the miraculous processes of photo-synthesis.’ (‘John Wolslely, Carboniferous’, Sydney: Roslyn Oxley Gallery, 2010).

Drawing, Watercolour
watercolour, carbonised wood, graphite on sixteen sheets of paper
56.0 x 76.0 cm each sheet; 90.0 x 78.0 x 4.3 cm each frame; 246.0 x 324.0 cm frame overall
Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r. corner, pencil "J Wolseley/ 2006".

Gift of the artist 2015. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number
© John Wolseley. Licensed by Copyright Agency