In this exhibition Ken Smith continues his longstanding visual exploration of the coastal regions of southern Victoria. While all these images describe meetings of air, earth and water they also seek to discover stable pictorial structures to contain the constant change that is inherent in the mixing of these elements. Light, the revelatory agent for all these phenomena, is also the prime means for their expression.
Being immersed within his subject means that Ken Smith is perceptive to its subtlest shifts. The landscape is, as he points out, like a new picture every day. It is these minute variations in light and atmosphere that engage him on a deep level, and which he endeavours to describe within his work. A by-product of this approach is that his paintings have an aching stillness about them. The speed and noise of our accelerating society has been hushed, enabling the quiet voice of nature to emerge. All movement has been eliminated, with the effect that we, too, become still. Smith’s paintings, in a manner, teach us how to look again. Our eyes follow his lines of trees, the arc of coastline or the gradient of hillside, in a gentle, meandering journey.