Oil paint, earth pigments, ash, shade-cloth, lace, linen, canvas on door
GENEROUSLY ON LOAN FROM THE EDITH COWAN UNIVERSITY ART COLLECTION
Tony Windberg is an Australian artist who is passionate about making landscape art. For 3 decades, his artistic curiosity has driven his exploration of materials and techniques. His illusionistic artworks question the nature of realism and how we see the world.
Tony Windberg's first solo exhibition was in 1989, 3 years after finishing the fine arts course at Curtin University, Western Australia. It was wall to wall trees; oil paintings, drawings and pastels that honed in unsentimentally on the bits that, for him, expressed the scarred and burnt nature of the Australian landscape. Beauty was in the texture, subdued colours and the raw detail. With these life-like depictions of trees began a fascination with illusion: like magic, paint could be transformed into 'bark'. And so too, 'paint' could be made from the very landscape itself.
Gathering and using natural materials such as earth, ash, charcoal and tree resins made a direct connection to the subject. In recent years, he has combined these with materials and surfaces that are decidedly inorganic and synthetic. Fake wood vinyl made its ironic appearance in engraved wall-mounted structures that took a step into the 3D world of sculpture: curved planes and corner-spanning works appeared flat, while flat planes seemed to protrude. All was not what it appeared, picture planes existed in the mind of the viewer, yet the trickery was always revealed.