The painting Summer Storm features the Merri Creek. It illustrates this iconic waterway in this area detailing the native vegetation and the intrusion of the power lines and skyscrapers. The painting also makes reference to Giorgione’s painting The Tempest paying tribute to the power of nature as the lightning bolt on the horizon seems to have carved out the creek. The site of this painting is from Yarra Bend Park where NMIT is located. It was all once part of City of Northcote. The new boundaries put all of the open space south of Heidelberg Road into the City of Yarra. So it is very near Darebin's border. The area is easy to walk to from nearby car parks. It shows the view of the city that we have from the City of Darebin.
In Bundoora Homestead II, Stephen Armstrong depicts the Queen Anne Federation style mansion set against a bright blue Australian sky. A circular driveway leading to the main entrance is cast in partial shadow. The fourteen-room homestead is dominated by double-storey balcony verandahs with striking architectural features including dominant hipped roofs, tall brick and stucco chimneys and terracotta grotesque finials located on the principal gables.
Situated on the slopes of Mt. Cooper, the highest point of landscape in metropolitan Melbourne, and one of Victoria’s oldest extinct volcanoes, Bundoora Homestead was designed in 1899 as the centre piece of a 606 acre (245 hectares) racehorse stud. Between 1920 and 1993 it operated as a convalescent farm and psychiatric repatriation hospital and from 2001 has functioned as a public art gallery and cultural heritage centre. Standing for over one hundred years, Bundoora Homestead is the keeper of many memories and much history.
Armstrong works primarily with oils, painting on site or plein air, in the traditional genres of the figure, still life and, predominately, landscape. His work generally investigates natural, built and urban environments as he captures the atmosphere of a specific place and time.
Bundoora Homestead II © Stephen Armstrong
In Bundoora Homestead I, Stephen Armstrong links the past and present through his depiction of Bundoora Homestead, a stately Queen Anne Federation style mansion. Built in 1899 for a prominent horse racing identity, John Matthew Vincent Smith (1857-1922) and his family, the homestead now operates as a public art gallery. A sense of foreboding prevails as fast moving storm clouds shroud the sky in black and purple hues. In the foreground, circular beds of roses and cannas are surrounded by immaculately manicured lawns reminiscent of the archetypal English manor house. Overlooking this scene is a single struggling palm tree while a solitary native Australian magpie forages for food before the storm breaks.
Armstrong works primarily with oils, painting on site or plein air, in the traditional genres of the figure, still life and, predominately, landscape. Armstrong's work generally investigates natural, built and urban environments as he captures the atmosphere of a specific place and time.
Bundoora Homestead I © Stephen Armstrong