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Porter and von Guerard at The WAG
Warrnambool Art Gallery celebrates 130 years with a stunning visual commemoration.
This is the intriguing and inspiring story of how a landscape artist from the 19th Century helped breathe life and biodiversity back to an iconic Australian landscape. A unique landscape, shaped by a volcano, which had become no more than a community rubbish dump.
Tower Hill in 1855 - painting by Austrian artist Eugene von Guerard
Tower Hill, a now inactive volcano whose ancient eruptions created a distinguished landscape of scoria cones and crater lakes on Victoria's Southern coastline, between Warrnambool and Port Fairy. A thriving environment that had also been long inhabited by the Koroitgundidj people but was devastatingly plundered over the century since Eugene von Guerard painted it is 1855.
Porter at work in his studio in Northern NSW - image courtesy of artist
During the 1960's a determined and ambitious revegetation project was launched and von Guerard's painting of the area was crucial in reestablishing the endemic biodiversity. His attention to the botanical detail of the area was paramount significance.
Hobie Porter's exhibition commemorates 160 years since von Guerard painted Tower Hill. Porter's visually nourishing pieces are a true celebration of artist integrity and the success of the revegetation work in the area.
'A Foreign Native' painting by Hobie Porter - image courtesy of artist
There are many similarities between von Guerard's and Porter's attention to detail and the Warrnambool Art Gallery has both artists paintings in their acquisition. Porter's ravishing landscapes can leave one breathless. Overlaid objects in each piece; the fossicked discoveries by Porter on-sight, illustrate connections and initiate conversations about the similarities between the microcosms and the macro.
Unnatural History; The Tower Hill Project by Hobie Porter opens at the Warrnambool Art Gallery on Friday 15th January and the exhibition is open until 17th April.
Unnatural History; The Tower Hill Project by Hobie Porter - image courtesy of artist and WAG