Artist Statement: The mood may differ but the essence is the constant interplay of sky and landscape and players. The work attempts to unite these into semi-coherent one.
Although cricket very readily lends itself to the frozen moment so loved by sports photographers, this work attempts to integrate different time periods into one unified whole. Unified, but not totally concurrent. Will the catch be taken? Was it a catch at all? Are all the players focused on the immediate and do all see the same thing? Individuals do not always see exactly the same thing as shown by witness statements.
Having created organised chaos the viewer is invited to interpret it their way from their past experiences and, equally important, their musing on the game.
Never forget it is primarily a painting using cricket as a point of departure rather a game of cricket itself.
Medium: Oil on Board
Dimensions: 86.5 x 99.5 cms (image size), 89 x 101 cms (framed)
CHG Director's Statement: Horse rider, retired art teacher and cricket tragic – player, SCG Member and Sheffield Shield follower. Robbie is just, generally, a great guy. He is never short of a comment, managing to be simultaneously humourous, laconic and loveable, with a Scottish accent that still tests my ear.
Robbie graduated a three year course at National Arts School (East Sydney Tech) and one year Teachers College. He started teaching at Newcastle High School, before transferring to Broadmeadow High School then onto Singleton and Quirindi for more than three decades.
Robbie enjoys a certain freedom as a painter. He is engrossed by landscapes, and not surprisingly, they form the foundation of most of his paintings. Horses in fields grazing, grouped, and resting, provides a sense of humanity within Robbie’s paintings. It allows the viewer to identify with the painting subjects and relate them back to daily human behaviours. These subjects are at ease within rolling pastures and sweeping, distant mountain ranges.
Contrasting his landscapes is Robbie’s work that exposes rural cricket teams, battling it out on parched pitches. The players often appear stylised, but are still convincing, as their painted forms capture the pose and movement of active players and matches.
Recently, Robbie’s landscape paintings have become especially raw in both choice of colour, and paint application. Instead of groomed pastures, his landscapes now exude an almost tangible energy and tactile element. Robbie’s colours remain harmonious, and often tonal, his skies seem alive.
Robbie revels in all that is rural! His landscapes are places that he loves, and is absorbed by. It is anyone’s guess where Robbie’s talent will progress next.
- Mark Widdup
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