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Image: Mark Dober, Murrumbidgee 5, 2021, watercolour and gouache on paper, 168 x 380 cm

Mark Dober: On the Banks of the Murrumbidgee


Exhibition Showing: 31 March – 3 June 2023

Artist Talk: 31 March 5:20pm

Artist Statement:

I make my work on site in the landscape. Mostly my paintings and works on paper are made in the surrounds of Castlemaine, in central Victoria, where I live. I also make work away from my region: landscapes offering differing geologies, vegetation, spatial features and cultural associations, which engage my interest, stimulate production (I am prolific and work fast) and provide me with new artistic opportunities for both extending my response to landscape and showing my work (in regional galleries). 
The works in this exhibition were made at various sites, including some made at the Murrumbidgee several years ago when undertaking a residency at Strathnairn, ACT and during a residency in 2021 organized by Wagga Wagga Art Gallery. While exhibiting at Tuggeranong Art Centre, I will work at a site where the Murrumbidgee River flows past Tuggeranong. 
Each of my works are comprised of multiple sheets of watercolour paper, made clipped to drawing boards, while sitting on the ground and using watercolour and gouache. I generally start in the centre of the composition, working on a vertical column of three sheets, and then work on columns to the left and right. The final result is a work three sheets high and five sheets wide, for a completed size of 168 x 380 cm. 
Each work takes several days to make. The weather may vary from start to finish as does the time of day. The work records these changes, so that one end of a work may show blue sky, while the other end shows an overcast day. Each work is a compilation of many moments, stretching over days. In this way, my pieces are very different to the recording of a singular moment in a photograph. 
Neither does the work record one direction of looking. Working in the middle of the composition I am looking straight ahead (as you do when making a small work or taking a photograph). But as I work to the left of the composition my looking changes direction to the left. And likewise with working to the right of the composition. This multi-direction viewing brings a sense of the organic, and of movement, to the work. 
All in all, I am seeking to convey the experiential, as we feel and observe the world in time and space. The scale too adds to the sense of immersion, a sense of being there. 

About the artist:

Mark Dober completed his PhD in Fine Art (Painting) from Monash University and was awarded the Mollie Holman Medal. He has exhibited extensively in NSW, Victoria and Queensland and his work has been included in numerous high profile award exhibitions.  His work is held in many private, corporate and public collections in Australia and the UK, including the National Gallery of Australia. 

Artist Talk:

Friday 31 March, 5:20pm

Mark will speak about On the Banks of the Murrumbidgee, in the Foyer Gallery. This will be an opportunity to find out more about how Mark works “en plein air” and the methods he uses to create large-scale works on paper.

Stay after the talk for the official opening three exhibitions: Nicci Haynes presents Incidental TVTraverse by John Pratt and Peter McLean as well as On the Banks of the Murrumbidgee by Mark Dober.

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