Exhibition | Flagstaff Road
14 August - 1 September 2018
It is refreshing to discover Evan Salmon’s paintings of Port Kembla which have such undeniable verve and authenticity. Forged in lively pastes of oil paint on wood or linen, colour modulated to suit the time of day or quality of light, each one is bold in composition and carefully considered. Most of his paintings and drawings of Port Kembla harbour and its smoke stacks are small or made ‘to scale’ in keeping with painting ‘on-the-spot’ or plein air, which he undertakes in all weathers and seasons.
It is since moving to Port Kembla 4 years ago that he began painting his subject on-the-spot instead of relying on photographs (which is common practice for many artists). As he stated candidly in a recent issue of Artist Profile magazine:
It wasn’t until I moved to the area, however, that I really started to see the potential of this landscape as a subject for painting. Up until this point I had always been a studio-based artist … I have become very fond of the landscape of Port Kembla and its surrounds, in particular the steelworks with its multitude of pipes and stacks which emit steam and flames. Together they create a dramatic haze against the backdrop of the Illawarra escarpment. Everything seems to be painted iron red or olive green and has an industrial grey patina, with the occasional patch of BlueScope blue.