I have long wanted to complete this painting. I first walked into this site in January, 1974 and have ever since been entranced by the long ,sweeping view of the Serra Range in the Grampians, the subtle colours and the immense distance.
This landscape has been twice razed by wildfire since I have known it and is struggling to remain unaltered. My inclusion of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos is to symbolise recovery in adversity, for they are surely the most resilient and cheerful of birds. What other species displays such delight in their power of flight? They fly for fun, as much as for mobility. I wanted to achieve a sense of being up there with them, as they waft along, criss-crossing each other’s paths, plunging through Teddy Bear Gap to the plains country beyond.
The tombstone-like rocks in the foreground are there to add stability and distance to the scene, but also to symbolise the mortality of the ecosystem and its fragility under man’s burning regimes. They represent some ancient dolman of the Australian bush.