Le Dejeuner sur Teppa Hill: Xavier's Camp

2005, 143 x 187 cms NFS

For several years I toyed with the idea of a painting of Xavier's threadbare existence on Teppa hill where he'd mostly resided when in town, since abandoning Whitegate in the early 1990s. He shifted around it throughout the year, in part determined by available wood, in part by the prevailing winds and the dominant temperature. He threw a blanket over a witchetty tree for shade or a bit of canvas when it rained. When the idea germinated, Xavier was camped just above an industrial site and I couldn't figure how to incorporate the juxtaposition. It wasn't until he moved to the southern shoulder of the hill that these rhythms opened compositional possibilities. By then, Stratco had constructed their store whose motto afforded the delightfully ironic text for the painting and could earn allusion to Manet's masterpiece.