Wayne Viney: ‘The Lake and the Sea’

Wayne Viney reflects on his new exhibition, ‘The Lake and the Sea’.

Wayne Viney reflects on his new exhibition, ‘The Lake and the Sea’.

10 March, 2020
In Exhibitions,
Printmaking, Q&A

From top:

Wayne Viney, Evening Light on Clouds III, 2019, monotype, 23 x 24 cm

Wayne Viney, Orange Haze, 2019, monotype, 45.5 x 55.5 cm

Wayne Viney, Light over the Lake, 2019, monotype, 23 x 24 cm

Wayne Viney, Evening Light I, 2019, monotype, 45.5 x 55.5 cm

Q: What were some of the foundation ideas you began with when embarking on this exhibition project?

I wanted this exhibition to showcase two different approaches to my current landscape practice.

The Lake Charm series derives from a specific place, Lake Charm, which is a large fresh water lake near Kerang in north-east Victoria. I always saw the Lake Charm series in terms of a low horizon with a band of trees reflected in water, a relatively static image. The landscape is flat, almost featureless, which then draws the eye to the vastness of the sky. For me, the drama of this landscape takes place in the skies above. I relished the opportunity to create these rather dramatic effects. I thought of the landscape below as timeless and unchanging, while above, clouds pass, storms come and go and the seasons change – the transience of nature. This notion of the romantic landscape is something I’ve always been drawn to, working with the elements of sky, water and land.

The Sea and Sky works continue my practice of simplifying the landscape, working within a simple geometric format to explore the nuances of colour. In contrast to the Lake Charm series these works are wholly imagined. I am seeking to find a balance between figuration and abstraction, tension and calm, light and darkness. Colour is used to allow the viewer to experience the image at a deep intuitive level. The series is about the sea and the sky, the place where the sky and land, and land and water converge.

Despite this differing approach both bodies of work are essentially trying to evoke a response to nature, specifically the changing weather, the passing of time, light and dark.

Q: How did the artwork selection take place?

Despite the different approaches to these landscapes, both endeavour to evoke the dramatic contrast between the earth and the sky, the sea and the sky. To that end, works were selected to convey the limitless moods of nature.

Q: How does the exhibition manifest – what do visitors experience?

I hope the work will evoke a sense of the timelessness and beauty of the natural world, the immensity and grandeur of the skies, the play of dazzling light, the notion of the sublime landscape.

Q: What are some of the key works and what subject matter do they deal with?

Evening Light I and Orange Haze are from the Sea and Sky series of monotypes. The subject matter is an imagined sea and sky, the convergence of land, water and sky and the nuances of light. While these two works share a similar composition, the time of day provokes an entirely different response. Evening Light I depicts the hush of evening when the light has all but disappeared, Orange Haze conveys the warmth and joy of the early morning.

Evening Light on Clouds III presents the subtle and minimal play of fading light on a simple band of clouds. Light over the Lake features a dramatic shaft of light piercing a dark sky and illuminating the surface of Lake Charm below. These works illustrate why I am fascinated with this landscape and its constantly changing light.

The Lake and the Sea is at Australian Galleries until 22 March. Artist talk 2pm 14 March. australiangalleries.com.au/exhibitions/