Alexander McKenzie

Man moves mountain

oil on linen
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The painting Man moves mountain explores my interest in Kaiyū-shiki-teien or Japanese strolling gardens. These Edo period gardens are designed to be viewed by following a path clockwise through the space, with each composed scene that the stroller encounters providing a point of contemplation and reflection. In this instance, the path is a difficult vertical climb, symbolising man’s journey through life from the base to the summit and echoing the difficulties of existence, both temporal and spiritual.

The genesis of the image stems from visits to Opossum Island or Dead Island off Point Puer near Port Arthur in Tasmania.

- Alexander McKenzie, 2014