The word passage can suggest openings, entrances, excerpts, voyages or transference and these concepts take direction in David Collins’ solo exhibition, Passage.
As a painter who has lived on an island in the Hawkesbury River of NSW for a number of years, David Collins constantly looks at the evergreen mangroves and waterways that surround his home; contemplating and recording his impressions in charcoal, gouache and graphite. Often sailing across the river in search of new outlooks, Collins chooses a location and works en plein air, quietly studying the landscape that enthralls him.
In this series of drawings and paintings, the possibilties of the Hawkesbury seem endless. Collins’ abstraction of the landscape allows his connection to this environment to unfold poetically. By reducing these scenes to sprawling lines, shapes and often layers of sporadically applied colour; disparate forms and lines dance on the precipace of regathering, forging the perception of movement. In this way, openings emerge, offering personal and emotional pathways into this landscape.
Living on the river defines this body of David Collins’ work. He lives with nature — the tides, the moon, the currents as he rows to and from Dangar Island, aware of the forces and vulnerabilities of nature. They are works of connection to place that evoke a whole universe. The line suggesting a hill suggests a force that enters the viewer’s body. You can feel the tides, the moving perspectives as the work suggests an island, a body of water, a reflection, the remembrance of a once seen pattern. It evokes a lost moment recovered.
We have collected David’s work for over 30 years. We live with the islands that appear and disappear, movements of water and time, an emphasis here, a colour appearing and reced-ing — the paintings are always changing. This magic of art. Tides float, fogs move, land is both there and not there. Images feed the heart. They change in the light, the time of day — new bits are discovered, revealed with those slow looks — and those flashes that occur when you have just surprised the work and come upon it unexpectedly.
There is something in the force of his lines — they bring a brevity, an ambiguity, a poetry to the work that expresses a great of love of painting and nature — the river, the islands the fog, while the suggestions of space allow eternity to enter one’s imagination. - Sally Stokes (Artist, friend and Collector)