John Glover's Arcadian Paradise
2011 - 2014, Limited edition digital pigment print on museum-grade fine art paper
100cm x 150cm
'Art of "Inventing"'
“What is so exceptional about Denyse Gibbs’ work is the level of humanity and sense of poignancy and play she brings to the digital medium. Her large scale works confront the viewer with an insightful and intelligent juxtaposition of theme and medium and by bringing two seemingly diverse components into one format she challenges our ways of seeing. Steeped in a love of the classical and borrowing from periods of history and culture and movements of art and their influences upon one another, she astutely and seamlessly integrates the myriad parts into a cohesive whole, and the result is breathtaking.
As viewers what we owe to Gibbs is the permission and license to be irreverent towards our formalised past knowledge of art and it’s often rigid constructs. This is not to say she in any way ridicules what came before. Rather in her multi-layered and stunningly beguiling images, incorporating myth and history, she offers the possibility of a new sensibility.
“Twenty-one Views of Van Diemen’s Land”, is a series of limited edition large scale digital pigment prints on museum grade fine art paper and for the first time in Gibbs’ career, she makes a conscious ode to her native Australia. The series of 21 images pays homage to the early colonial artist John Glover (born in England 1767- died in Tasmania, Australia 1849). Once arriving in Tasmania (formerly known as Van Diemen’s Land) Glover, who had enjoyed a reasonably successful career as an artist in Regency Britain, set about painting a landscape that had only a passing resemblance to what he saw before him. He contrived an ‘Arcadian Paradise’, free from the constraints and guilt of early colonial life and unburdened by the judgement of his more accomplished and talented contemporaries, J M W Turner and John Constable, and created an “invented landscape”.
Utilising a Glover model as a template and subverting historical and geographical fact, Gibbs playfully and skillfully acknowledges Glover’s legacy of “invention” and proceeds to further the notion. Through the introduction of the principles of Japanese Ukyio-o from the Edo and early Meiji period and its impact on French Impression, she invites viewers to extrapolate on the randomness of such events of time and place in the course of art’s historical and cultural route. As her ephemeral figures traverse a multi-dimensional and embellished landscape the boundaries of aesthetics are pushed towards a new and remarkable vision of events.”
New York Art Review, USA