Nativity

2015, 124 x 123 cms. Synthetic polymers and graphite on Stonehenge

This work echoes Piero della Francesco's, Nativity.

The stillness in Piero's Nativity is one of his greatest achievements. It's the counterpoint to the celebratory song issuing from the lutists angels and magpie. I’d long been attracted to the work and in researching images that might connect with Arrernte families, I revisited Piero’sNativity intrigued by its mathematical composition and how guesture, colour and poise contribute to its harmony. One particular key was the presence of the magpie, a variant species in Central Australia being a great morning songster I wanted to acknowledge in a painting. There’s no point trying to improve on the master’s perfection though his lonely setting in Tuscan hills also had resonance in the landscape in camp.