Robert Ryan

Subdivision no 2

oil on canvas
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The painting is a meditation on the nature of progress and change in relation to human habitation and its impact on the natural environment. It could reflect any number of small coastal Australian towns. In some cases, sacred meeting places for the traditional owners have been usurped by successive waves of loggers, whalers, farmers, surfers, hippies and, more recently, ‘sea-changers’ and the developers eager to house their dreams. The town is ever-expanding, pushing further and further into bushland, ever-morphing into smaller satellite districts. What was once, through necessity, a tight-knit community becomes increasingly individualistic, and, with that, comes the potential for isolation. And yet the ancient ‘song lines’, though interrupted, are not erased.

- Robert Ryan, 2015