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Reproduced courtesy of Neil Frazer

North and South

Date: 2012
Overall: 2020 × 2000 × 150 mm
Medium: Acrylic on canvas in timber frame
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Neil Frazer
Object Copyright: © Neil Frazer
Object Name: Painting
Object No: V00054301
Related Place:North Head, South Head,

User Terms

    'I am most attracted to landscapes that demonstrate the action of time and natural forces leading to sedimentation, erosion.The passage of time is demonstrated within the shape and physical detail of the landscape and often bears witness to the violence and upheaval that has caused its formation... I often swim using a waterproof camera to record the details. I also kayak, walk or climb' Neil Frazer

    This monumental view is Neil Frazer's response to his exploration of the NSW coast, especially the entrance to Sydney Habour and the heads. It is a tremendously physical depiction of place, in his act of creation with shapes and planes defined by thick impasto paint and the carved whiteness surrounding them and in the framing of his subject. It elicits a strong visceral response while also possibly teasing out metaphors about place, and in our Australian context, about travelling across wiild oceans to a new home.
    SignificancePainted from the water, this impressive work depicts an imaginative view of Sydney Heads and the physical and liminal space framing the harbour and much of the eastern Australian coastline. In parts abstract and figurative in style this painting is a dramatic contemporary view by a well known artist which fits within a long history of coastal depictions, rare at this scale.

    It is a powerful expressive depiction of the heads as both a metaphor and a physical place, with the swirling waters and the white space beyond drawing the viewer inwards to the space inside the heads. Frazer has depicted the water too as metaphysical wilderness and as a physical force, with the waves sculpting Sydney's sandstone basin and more generally chiselling Australia's coastlines.

    Broad and textured in brushstroke the work shows the fluid seas and flat planes of the coastalscape of the place where the museum is located. It is a compelling and accessible platform to explore rich cultural and natural histories of this site specifically and the water, oceans and coastlines in the cultural imagination of Australia's various populations.
    HistoryThis work depicts an imaginary view of Sydney Heads by Neil Frazer (born 1961, Canberra). Neil has studied and worked in Australia and New Zealand and currently lives in Sydney's inner west.

    Neil studied for his Bachelor of Fine Arts Canterbury University 1985, post grad at the New York Studio School, 1986; Master of fine Arts COFA Sydney 2004. He has been exhibiting since 2002 at various galleries in New Zealand and at Martin Browne in Paddington. His work has also been represented in various group shows including 'Devils in Paradise', Damien Minton 2007, 'On the Heysen trail' SH Ervin, 'White' Newcastle University Gallery 2008, in the Wynne Prize at the AGNSW and 'Game On' at Hastings Regional Gallery, Hastings.

    His work is in various public and private collections including Artbank, Baker and Mackenzie, Sydney, Christchurch Art Gallery, Deloittes collection, Glasshouse regional Gallery, Hocken Library collection, Lincoln College Art Collection, Dunedin, Macquarie Bank Ltd, Newcastle Art Gallery, Otago University Collection, University of NSW Art Gallery, Victoria University Collection, Australia Club.
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