Lost Forests


Lost Forests: Bruny Island Lighthouse and the Actaeon Reef
Reduction Lino Cut in Oil
Year: 2021
Edition Size: 5
Image Size: 90 x 61 cm
Paper Size: 110 x 80 cm
Paper Type: Fabriano Artistico

2021 Finalist, Henry Jones Art Prize

Signed and numbered on the front

Only 2 left in stock


Lost Forests: Bruny Island Lighthouse and the Actaeon Reef, is a hand printed reduction linocut in oil inks, on Fabriano Artistico paper.

As a young student in the mid 1980s, I experienced the privilege of scuba diving through a kelp forest in the Tinderbox Marine Reserve in southern Tasmania. It was like suddenly finding myself in a magical world which had existed, unseen and unsuspected, right alongside where I lived my daily life. It was one of those rare moments in life (at least for me) when I felt part of a wider and more mystical world. Life moved on, with me wrapped up in my own concerns and strivings. I moved away from Tasmania, and moved back decades later with a young family and with far more awareness of the fragility of our ecosystems. I was deeply saddened to find that less than 5 per cent of eastern Tasmania’s kelp forests remain. Because they are out of sight and out of mind, these priceless natural treasures are becoming lost to us without most of us even being aware of it. This is why I wanted to represent a kelp forest in an artwork as a way to help make them seen. In the bottom left corner I have added a Ziebell’s handfish, a species that has been found on the edge of the Actaeon kelp forests and is currently listed as critically endangered, although there have been no confirmed sightings since 2007.

The Actaeon Reef system is situated at the southern entrance to the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, between the Southern end of Bruny Island and the Tasmanian mainland, very close to the site where I took that first dive. It is named after a ship that was wrecked on the reef in 1822, which was one of an number of shipwrecks that led to the building of the Cape Bruny Lighthouse that overlooks that area. This lighthouse, and the surrounding area is the site of many other vivid and special memories for me.

In this artwork I play with unusual perspective; blending an underwater scene looking upwards, with a view of the Cape Bruny Lighthouse from across the surface of the landscape. I aim to evoke a feeling of mysteriousness and wonder by depicting real places from a magical perspective – an example of an art genre known as Magical Realism.

Go to my Studio Blog page to see details on how this artwork was made: