Técha Noble’s large-scale projection The Line from Daytona Beach, Florida to the Lyrebird Dell, Leura is a collage of separately filmed landscapes each framed through glitter encrusted geometric shapes. The artist began filming these landscapes while on residency in the United States and continued the project in Sydney’s Blue Mountains. The process of seeing the landscape through a glittered frame suggests a queer viewing of a natural space.
Técha is considering the tradition of landscape painting as one where a colonial Western perspective was forced upon landscapes around the globe. In the Modernist period (late 1800s to mid 1900s) artists’ experimented with colour and light, often painting ‘en plein air’ (outside) and quickly applying paint to capture the quickly changing relationship of light to the image of the landscape in front of them.
The Australian Heidelberg School is an example of a dominant Australian Modernist painting movement that combined en plein air painting with a depiction of the Australian landscape as a colonised, ordered space.
An Australian painter, Norman Lindsay (1879 – 1969) lived and worked in the Blue Mountains, NSW. He worked differently to the dominant modernist style of the time retaining a studio practice and often painting nude female models in lush soft tones. He then depicted these nude bodies in a mythologised Australian landscape. His work was considered scandalous at the time and still is considered an embarrassment or blip in the colonised historical viewpoint of Australian landscape painting.
Técha considers Lindsay’s work to be a queering of landscape, a mythical, decorative and erotic depiction of place that is possibly as authentic as the Heidelberg School’s depiction of Australia as a colonised, ordered space.
While much of Lindsay’s work is pictured within the natural landscape (his work offers) a departure from the ‘real’ and ‘natural’ representation of landscape viewed in the work of his contemporaries. The use of decadent costumes, figurative gesture and camp stylisation push the landscape to read as stage. – Técha Noble