Three weeks at Carss Park
4 December - 20 December
STEVE LOPES presents impressions from Three Weeks at Carss Park, as artist in residence at Carss Park artist cottage earlier this year.
Carss Park Artist cottage is located 17 kilometres south of Sydney in Kogarah Bay, nearby to where LOPES has lived and worked for most of his life. Situated in a historic Bush and Parkland area, the site of the artist cottage is layered with shared histories. The area was home to a number of aboriginal camps of The Gameygal (Kameygal) clan, members of the Dharug language group, who originally inhabited the area on the foreshores of Kogarah Bay. After white settlement of the Sydney harbour region, William Carss acquired and established the land in 1863 and called his property Carss Bush. The area remained a rural farming and bushland community until the early twentieth century.
In the interwar years Carss Park was a rare example of a garden suburb development, created as a social space for leisure activities by the local Council. Due to its historical and cultural significance, Carss Cottage was classified in the register of the National Trust of Australia and gained a permanent conservation order in the bicentennial year 1988.
Over three weeks LOPES settled into daily life of Carss Park, observing the minutiae of the everyday scenes along the rambling coastline, and the people passing through it. Working en plein air, the fluid brushstrokes in LOPES’ studies respond quickly to light and tone, resulting in lively vignettes of the surrounding coastal and bushland area as well as the man-made structures such as the tidal pool, sandstone walls and jetty’s that frame it.
As a local artist responding to his own personal experience of the Kogarah Bay area, LOPES brings a nuanced understanding and familiarity to the land and its embedded histories. An artist who’s travels and work have taken him to the Western Front, Italy and throughout Europe – with his latest work exhibiting in Salient: Contemporary artists at the Western Front at the ANZAC Memorial, Sydney – Three Weeks at Carss Park presents the artist in his local, reflecting and adding to the local histories and memories of the landscape that have framed his work.