A corner store in West End, a bend of the Logan river, a Caloundra headland, ships at the Port of Brisbane, Shorncliffe beach, traffic on Elizabeth St Ė these are just some of the quintessential scenes of South-east Queensland in the latest exhibition, Rendering the Light of Southeast Queensland, at Aspire Gallery, Paddington.
In this fourth solo exhibition, Michael Cawdrey has worked his magic, creating various portrayals of light on local scenes of nature and daily life, including a shimmering Brisbane city street during rush hour in an evening downpour, the purple blooms of a Jacaranda tree illuminated on a suburban street in October, dappled light on a tranquil Cedar Creek, the yellow glow of street lights on a rainy Paddington street, a sunset turning rocks to hues of pink and orange at Shelley Beach.
It is no surprise that Michael is inspired by the prevailing light conditions as he paints local scenes. He uses oil and acrylic deftly to emphasise shapes and planes, evoking familiar scenes. Michael is not concerned with minor details nor meticulous recreation of scenes or streetscapes. He draws "to locate not depict". Viewed from afar the detail is there. Yet up close, you see how your eye has been tricked, as if by magic.
Michael hopes his works remind the viewer to cherish the streetscapes and scenes around them, the places that we can take for granted. He laments the destruction of Brisbane city in the name of progress and redevelopment without due consideration of aesthetics, charm and character.