Mark Dober makes paintings and drawings in the landscape. His response comprises a blend of the observed and imagined - he views the landscape from a poetic perspective.
Mark completed his PhD in Painting at Monash University – an investigation in theory and practice of plein air painting. Over the last few years he has been working on paper in watercolour, gouache, and mixed media, with a focus on working to a large scale. His earlier theme of the pastoral landscape has extended to include forests, grasslands and the bucolic. He makes repeated visits to a small number of sites. The nine works in this exhibition feature the Nymphaea at the Melbourne Botanical Gardens.
The work explores a tension between connectedness – an enjoyment of being amongst nature – and otherness (for nature is not a world of our making). Skeletal trees upright and lying dead on the forest floor, twisted and leaning tree trunks, contorted and curling branches, piled up rocks, weedy and spiky looking plants, the remnants of mining past – can seem uncommunicative, strange and even surreal. Yet simultaneously, the beauty of the bush and its living environment beckon. These opposing qualities inform his response.
Plein air practise is an assertion of engagement with nature. It expresses self-awareness, aliveness, physicality, and continuity. It can be viewed as an implicit critique of, or at least presents an alternative to, an urbanised, globalised, consumerist society overly dependent on the technology of smart phones and the internet. To make work en plein air is to assert that nature is a metaphor for reality, in contrast to the fractured and virtual world of screen culture.
“I want the viewer to experience a sense of immersion by physically engaging in the activity of viewing that mirrors my own physical engagement when making the work. The larger the size of my work the more it embodies our experience of landscape. As I sit on the ground making my work I address the near – what is immediately about me – and the far – the distant horizon and overarching sky. The whole of landscape – micro and macro – is experienced as environment.” Mark Dober
In his work each element of the landscape is represented with its own particularity and character: He lays in skies with broad transparent washes of watercolour; rocks are likely to be defined with a patterning of dots suggestive of granular texture; grasses, foliage and branches are represented by thin, straight or curved lines of differing lengths and configurations. His pictorial language can tend to the symbolic; a patterning is apparent. Art influences that have helped shape this character in his work are: Van Gogh, Cezanne and Cubism, Paul Nash, and David Hockney. You see this approach too in the work of Albert Namatjira.
“I believe one of the important functions of art is to inspire and give pleasure, particularly where landscape is concerned. Beauty offers much when this is art’s mission. Beauty has a universal appeal and significance; it gives meaning and value to people’s lives, and encourages an engagement with the world around us. Beauty has a broad application to how we experience life itself. It offers hope in our troubled times. For my own work I seek a beauty that can well convey the essential humanism of painting as an intuitive art form.” Mark Dober
More information about the artist
Image Nymphaea Summer Mark Dober
“I am not one of those artists who produce beautiful neat work. My hands, used to farming and mining, are not delicate or steady enough to do intricate and detailed work. I love making and creating artwork!”
This exhibition was inspired by Mo’s belief that animals can provide guidance to us as we move through life. An eagle soaring overhead as she walked gave her inspiration to develop a body of work that observes the animal world and encourages us all to take care of them. As a mixed media artist Mo has had the opportunity to travel and exhibit which has garnered her commitment to her practice.
Image: Soaring Rapters Mo Skett
Plan your visit to Warwick Art Gallery using our Exhibitions Calendar.
Our three unique exhibition spaces are updated every 4 to 8 weeks. We are open 10 am to 4 pm Tuesday to Saturday.
COVID19 Safety Plan Updated 28.05.2020 Click here to read
|7 Jan - 13 Feb 2021||
|21 Jan - 6 Mar 2021||
Borderline Art Group
From Here to There
|18 Feb - 10 Apr 2021||
The Eagle Spoke
|11 Mar - 17 Apr 2021||
|Works from the Southern Downs Regional Council collection||15 Apr - 22 May||
The Story of Hope
|22 Apr – 29 May 2021||Artistic Endeavour: Contemporary botanical artists’ response to the legacy of Banks, Solander and Parkinson||27 May – 3 Jul 2021||Rose Czarine Albendia
|3 June – 10 Jul 2021||Robert MacPherson: Boss Drovers
‘Robert MacPherson: Boss Drovers’ is a touring exhibition developed by the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art.
|15 Jul – 28 Aug 2021||The Front Room Yarntopians|
|15 July - 21 August||
Darling Downs Textile Art Group
|2 Sept - 9 Oct 2021||
Seasons of the Southern Downs
Allora Photography Group
|26 August - 2 October||
To be advised
|14 Oct - 27 Nov 2021||
In Sight 4
Warwick State High School Students
|7 October - 13 November||vacancy||2 Dec 2021 - 15 Jan 2022||
Baltic Mini Textile Gdynia exhibition
On tour from Gdynia City Museum, Poland
The collection of twelve oil paintings in Beebo Blues were painted en plein air at the family property in Beebo located in the Goondiwindi Shire. Julie uses a homemade go-cart “the Buggy” which helps her to location-scout and doubles as her easel when painting.
For Julie, every glimpse of the pale blue of the sky, water or man-made structure reminds her of her grandfather’s pale blue overalls and inspired the title of the exhibition. The paintings in this exhibition honour her family’s roots in the land. A tangible recollection of the family tree plantation are the bespoke frames made for her paintings from tree stakes.
Image: Water Marker Julie Purcell Oil on salvaged board
Warwick Art Gallery is breathing a sigh of relief as one of the exhibitions cancelled due to COVID19 in 2020, finally will be installed. The Borderline Regional Arts Association is a collective of artists who live in the Stanthorpe and Tenterfield areas – neighbours on either side of the Queensland and New South Wales border. Their exhibition titled From Here to There opens in the main exhibition space on Thursday 21 January 2021.
The group had its beginning in 1994 and over the past 25 years has blossomed into a strong community based, not for profit organisation encouraging its member’s individual artistic development and skill building with a culture of connection and collaboration through exhibitions, workshops, information and ideas exchange plus social gatherings.
The art practice of Borderline Arts Association members is highly diverse and includes watercolour, drawing, printmaking, fibre, fabric, stone and bronze sculpture, ceramics and painting.
The exhibition title From Here to There implies a journey and is open to interpretation on many levels: Journeys through seasonal and climatic changes, drought, fire and flood, as well as the life within the landscape including people, animals and vegetation provided a wealth of inspiration for the participating artists.
From Here to There includes the work by eighteen artists; Jayne Barrett, Maggie Brockie, Kerry Cannon, Norman Clayton, Raylee Delaney, Krishna Heffernan, Louise Jenkins, Sue Jurd, Gay Landeta, Maryke Millar, Judy Pidgeon, Liz Powell, Eva Rasmussen, Fay Roselt, Nola Sindel, Albert Verschuuren, Anni Washington and Gail Wilson.
Work on this exhibition started in 2012 when Queen of Tea Cosies Loani Prior and photographer Mark Crocker travelled to six towns in three states meeting tea cosy guardians and recording their stories. From these meetings Mark has produced 40 black and white portraits of the interviewees with their tea cosies in colour. Their stories have been turned into an audio presentation and delightful quotes about family, friendship and the joy of owning something handcrafted.
This exhibition also stars 20 exuberant TEA COSIES created by Loani Prior, author of three best selling books, Wild Tea Cosies, Really Wild Tea Cosies and How Tea Cosies Change the World. They are knitted objets d’art, woolly sculptures; clever and funny, like nothing you will have seen before.
The exhibition was displayed first in Warwick during Jumpers and Jazz in July 2013. The tour includes the following locations: Mittagong, Northern Territory, Hervey Bay, Miles, Longreach, Bundaberg, Ballina and Canberra. The tour was completed in 2015. Mark Crocker's prtraits are now part of the Warwick Art Gallery collection.
This project is supported by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian state and territory governments and by Arts Queensland in the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts.
This project has also been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.