Mitch Cairns, NEXT, 2020, oil on linen, framed, 124.50 x 104.50 x 4.50 cm, TCG22067
(photo: The Commercial) private collection, Sydney

NEXT is not a painting with a commitment to a specific site of landscape; however it does contain a view, green and vegetative, an indication of water, perspective. Seen as separate from a painting in the landscape tradition, NEXT might be better understood or conceived of as a form of wayfinding; an attempt to tread lightly. Found here in plain sight, as spelt out by a depiction of the natural environment, is a word, the paintings title. In a parallel of sorts, the difficulty in navigating a landscape, via a painting or any other means, is echoed here in the proposition of a tree navigating language, the written word.


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