Phil Henshall’s Kilcunda Cove is a painting of contrasts. The monolithic bluff, weathered by time and ornamented by rhythmically striated bands of ancient soil deposits, is carried out in smooth, flowing brushstrokes and thick layers of pigment to convey its immovable solidity.
It recedes into the lower left foreground of the painting to reveal an unexpected glimpse of a secluded cove, with luscious vegetation, hidden caves, cascading waterfalls, and incoming waves, which hungrily consume the foreshore boulders. The background landscape is carried out in a more effervescent and energetic painting technique to convey the movement of air through dense shrubbery and the surge of rushing water; the complex atmospheric effects are expressed through the highlights of greens, blues, and yellows.
The landscape draws the viewer in by its fresh and luscious colour palette; the idyllic solitude of the cove; and the mysterious crevices of its cave formations. The indeterminate vantage point, illustrative of Phil Henshall’s aspectivism, produces a vertiginous, destabilising effect and further plunges the viewer headlong into the depths of the painting.
The exhibition is current until 30 August 2014: http://www.quadrantgallery.com.au/phil-henshall.html