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  Bruce Latimer

In my etchings I juxtapose imagery as a way of exploring our entwinement with the natural world. I am often struck by the absurdity of our position and the arrogance of our behaviour in relationship to that world. I see my work as a poetic meditation rather than an attempt to explain political or environmental truths. Through juxtaposition of imagery I attempt to build an impossible but believable picture.

I collect imagery by taking snaps and by clipping from print media. I see things that amaze, intrigue and sometimes appal me. A compulsion to cultivate a picture follows as a way of understanding the potency of these images.

Showboat presents a large freighter full steam ahead but going nowhere. Part of me doesn’t understand how something that big and made of metal can float. It’s definitely an embodiment of human triumphalism but it’s short-circuited and the event is under surveillance by representatives from the avian, aquatic and terrestrial worlds. There is something hopeful and timeless about the natural order but subtly vulnerable about human systems.

The unruly flock of ibises in Vast Numbers becomes ridiculous when combined with orderly lines of barn swallows and a dock load of new cars in tight formation.

Tenuous Connection plugs an electric fry-pan into a Harry Seidler building. The fry-pan sits “lightly on the ground”, the building refuses to … signs of yet more triumphalism? The yellow and the blue best-in-show budgies look on.

Aggregate grew from an appreciation of a stone mason’s relentless imposition of order over sandstone to make a building. I have shattered and fractured stone and used it to make a tree.

These prints are etchings. I love the intensity with which the inked plate records its pressured encounter with the paper. Every groove and pit bitten into an etching plate moulds and transforms the paper as the plate deposits its ink.

Tone is created using the subtle and infinite variations available from the aquatint technique. Its physical grain parallels the chemical grain of a photograph.

By these means I observe our varied interactions with the natural world. What usually captures my attention are our intrusions into it.  What I celebrate is the beauty of the world despite this.

Bruce Latimer
June 2005