About the Wallagoot Paintings
by Sarah Barron, Curator of Colour: Mervyn Moriarty A Retrospective Exhibition
This body of work represents the artist most recent paintings, and features the breathtaking region of Wallagoot on the Sapphire Coast, in regional New South Wales where Moriarty and his partner Prue Acton live.
The artist describes his way of working as “sketching in the field first using watercolours or acrylics, with final works exploring the flexibility of modern acrylic paints of canvas”. The process of working from life rather than from a photograph is an important part of Moriarty’s process and he notes that, ” I am constantly striving to reveal, not imitate reality.”
The artist finds this landscape an endless source of inspiration – with the constant shifts in light across the defined rock forms, great expanses of water and changing skies. Moriarty brings to life the central form of the land, sea and sky through his sensitivity to surface and depiction of the dominant colours. The artist recognises the importance colour plays in the execution and interpretation of an artwork, and he always strives to communicate a sense of being in that place. His first consideration is the quality of the light, which informs the perception of colour.
Channeling his focus from the development and production of colour publications and resources, to painting again for this exhibition, these works demonstrate Moriarty’s masterful understanding of colour relationships. Each piece displays the beauty of this environment and the artist’s familiarity and affection for the area, as well as his love of colour and painting. A sense of warmth and joy radiate from the series.