Susan Baird in the Mosman Art Prize
Congratulations to Susan Baird for being selected as a finalist in this year's Mosman Art Prize with her stunning painting 'Back country' (oil on linen, 127 x 137 cm) pictured above. Largely created en plein air across Hill End and Tasmania, Baird's paintings canvass the vicissitudes of the natural world, springing as much from physical topographies as they do from psychological, emotional and spiritual affiliations. Vibrant strokes of colour, swift brushwork and suggested forms conjure a kind of optic memory, evoking the sensations of form, shape, light and colour experienced out in the field. This poetic visual language is, in the artist’s own words, made up of ‘observations of many moments of seeing and distilling the landscape from its infinite possibilities’. She works slowly and observes time unfolding, and yet there is a movement and transience to the works – as if glimpsed fleetingly from a car window. Consciously harnessing liminal or ‘in between’ moments – when the sun retreats behind a cloud, the wind caressing the trees or the pool of light that gushes in at the day’s end – the works channel Baird’s harmonic awareness of the rhythms of nature.