DIM Furniture, Thomastown (Industryscapes 34)

Public Description: 

DIM Furniture, Thomastown (Industryscapes 34) is a precise and detailed industrial landscape presented to the viewer from an eye-level street perspective: a factory located in Thomastown, a northern suburb of Melbourne, comprising silos and heavy equipment together with a jumble of accumulated debris. Employing a flatness of form and colour, Senior’s watercolour palette is deliberately subtle using many colours with similar tonal values to construct a composition that reflects our understanding of a stereotypical Melbourne industrial site.

Senior’s artwork interrogates the themes of industry, suburbia and human influence over the landscape. His practice investigates the literal landscape with attention to the reduction of features achieved through colour blocking, architectural volumes and geometry to describe the human-intervened landscape. Influenced by artists such as Richard Estes (United States b.1932), Charles Sheeler (United States 1883-1965) and Jeffrey Smart (Australia 1921-2013), his work is evocative and contemplative, filled with intricate detail and informed by a passion for finding beauty in an austere built landscape.

DIM Furniture, Thomastown (Industryscapes 34) © Ken Senior

A Brief History of Preston

Public Description: 

In A Brief History of Preston, Warren Lane powerfully distills two centuries of European settlement in Preston, a northern suburb of Melbourne located in the City of Darebin. During the colonisation of this area in the 1800s, the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri-willam people were overtaken with farming and various other pastoral activities eventually leading to the industrial and commercial developments of the present day.

An Indigenous man stands erect in the foreground of the painting, staring straight ahead as if looking into the future or perhaps it is the past. Behind him are two potent symbols of “progress” represented by Holstein Friesian dairy cattle and Northland shopping centre (c 2010), looming cavernous and omnipresent over a vast, empty car park temporarily devoid of consumer activity.

As a painter working predominantly in oils, Lane creates intricate and familiar scenes linked by themes of the built environment, politics, human rights and social change. Lane’s astute illustrative portraits and urban landscapes are skilfully structured compositions that employ a high degree of realism laced with an undercurrent of satire. His work is both thought provoking and humorous, inviting the viewer to contemplate the subject matter without pretension or distraction.

A Brief History of Preston © Warren Lane