Late in 2020, my wife and I left our place near Fraser Island and headed north, with boat in tow, to do some fly fishing and collect ideas for my next paintings. We ended up being away for five weeks with some extended time around Turkey Beach and even more around Hinchinbrook and the Palm Islands group.
These days all this is cane country mainly, caught between the dividing range to the west and the coastal edge of reef and islands, criss-crossed by a million creeks, rivers and estuaries. This is no longer pristine nature by any means, though that peeks through when it can. Mainly it's agricultural land, bright and colourful, with its raw green canefields and deep red and deep brown soils. And out to the east float hazy islands, silhouetted in the humid and cloud-strewn air of the hot tropics.
For those not in the know, both landscapes, the land and the sea, are meshed with all kinds of mysterious paraphernalia associated with the industries they contain – farm machinery, cane tramways, giant sheds and wharves, trucks and trawlers, windmills and chimneys.
The paintings which have been coming out of this trip draw on these intersections of natural landscape and human intervention. They don't come from sketches or reflect actual viewpoints. Rather they are re-assemblies of things which have appealed or are remembered.
John Hockings 2021