A determination made in 2007 to briefly conduct an un-clicheed re-engagement Australian painting has turned into an ongoing and ever-expansive project for Juan Ford. Since then he has unceremoniously and disrespectfully mashed together painted realism, figuration, botanical illustration and landscape traditions with junk, plastic, gaffer tape, house paint, stickers and sludge to produce a unique series of paintings.
In this series, portraits have become landscapes, landscapes become portraits, but in a way that gives these ludicrous ‘traditional’ demarcations a swift kick up the posterior. His project focuses on the idea that human hubris to our natural environment will be our own undoing, and thus mocks the tendency of painted realism to salute colonialism, and the nature-fearing, resource-devouring, self-destructive attitudes it embodies.
This series is also an exquisitely and lovingly rendered study of the play of Australian light, and an ode to all that grows here naturally.