Frank Thirion and Graham Eadie: Mediated Landscape. M16, 21 Blaxland Crescent, Griffith. Until October 13.
Canberra artists Frank Thirion and Graham Eadie have been friends for many years.
They both studied at the Canberra School of Art, they both successfully completed their PhDs in Visual Arts at the Australian National University School of Art and they have collaborated on a number of exhibitions.
Eadie has recently held a survey exhibition of five decades of his paintings at the Emerald Arts Society in country Victoria (unfortunately I did not see the show).
Thirion has also exhibited widely and has been a finalist at the Archibald and Wynne exhibitions at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
The challenge that they have set themselves in this exhibition, in their own words, is to make work that is, "a response to the idea of landscape both as an external source of inspiration and as an outcome of creative activity itself."
The method that they have adopted is for Thirion to take digital photographs throughout Australia, Britain and Japan (some printed on a large scale) and these have been juxtaposed with generally quite small, abstracted acrylic paintings on canvas or panel by Eadie.
The links are more tangential than literal - they are not painting or photographing the same landscape, but perhaps landscapes that may evoke a similar sensibility.
Thirion, whom I must confess I have always thought of more as a painter rather than photographer, exhibits photographs that are accomplished and quite refined.
Adventurous angles, unusual compositional arrangements and the mix of the micro/macro and panoramic views is impressive with a number of memorable images.
These include Orkneyjar (2017) taken in the Orkney Isles, Monsoon - after Hokusai Katsushika (2018) photographed in Kyoto, Japan and Homage to Monet (2019) from Wangetti in North Queensland.
Many of his photographs have a considerable sense of presence where you can perceive quite clearly the artist's voice.
Eadie works in what has become almost his patented technique of worked-back images where there is a feel for compositional structure as well as a wonderful surface quality.
His work flirts with the object, landscapes in this instance, being neither completely literal in their transcription nor sufficiently abstracted to lose sight of the subject.
Some of the more successful pieces at the exhibition include the Red edge series (2017), which are quite sizeable in terms of this exhibition, measuring 41 centimetres by 51 centimetres.
These have a considerable sense of drama established both through the jagged composition as well as the strong bright palette.
Eadie has the gift to understate his work, where there are enough clues provided for a reading or deciphering of the subject, but it is up to the viewer to enter the piece and bring it to completion.
Collaborative exhibitions, even between close friends, are difficult to fully realise.
If the aim was to make the point that the landscape can be an inspirational catalyst and that the creativity of the artists transforms it into a material cultural artefact, then this has been achieved in the exhibition.
If the aim was to seek out a deeper synthesis or a resolved harmony, then the gap in the subject matter and medium may require a leap of faith that is not readily available to the viewer.
It is interesting how landscape, recently derided as anachronistic in contemporary art practice, is now re-emerging as a central concern for artists, environmentalists and for people concerned with climate change.