Philip Wolfhagen’s painting is inspired by the elemental power and presence of land, sky and sea. Surface tension no. 3 1998 explores the potency of ocean and has a particular resonance for many Australian’s whose sense of place is orientated toward the coast. Born in Tasmania and descended from a long line of northern Tasmanian settlers, the sea for Wolfhagen is a particularly significant symbol. To create the depth and movement of the ocean Wolfhagen uses oil and beeswax together. In his own words, I love the power of the illusory mark and its emotive energy and I feel confident about my ability to harness that energy.
Sea of Shame(detail) (2010)
The natural beauty of the world’s environment is distorted by the unconscious, destructive actions of mankind. Underneath the crystal clear creeks, tranquil rivers and vast oceans, lies the ugly and shameful truth of our environment, caused by the selfish behaviours of human beings which is nothing to be proud of. If the environment is not well looked after, the representations of beauty in this world would be left to the artificial manipulations of men as the natural world is destroyed.
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