Kings Canyon, Northern Territory

The inspiration for Terry Flaxton’s Kings Canyon, Northern Territory was a moment in which the artist found himself 450 kilometers from Alice Springs with a need to respond to the spirit of the place, but none of the right equipment. Flaxton pressed on with the wrong equipment and of course the wrong equipment turned out to be right.

“Yves Bonnefoy identified the nature of L’arriere Pays – ‘the back country’ – the place where possibilities are immense because they are unnamable, un-articulable, un-depictable, (except in his case through poetry). The presence of the self and some tools – technicity – the making of meaning by humans though the invention of tools which then change their essential self is what art effectively is. Sensing or sighting something incoming, responding to this sense that there is something when most see nothing, and making a response, is the discharge that art is.”

Flaxton, deep in the Australian bush, worked with the tools at his disposal to represent the landscape in an extraordinary way. As with Hockney’s polaroids, the landscape here is transformed into a mosaic as Flaxton, like Hockney, insists on looking again and then transforming a scape into something new.


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