Local creative - Andrew Land

Our local creative for March is Andrew Land.

Young emerging creative, Andrew Land, was selected to participate in Express Yourself 2021, an exhibition of exceptional HSC Visual Art works selected from 20 Northern Beaches secondary schools, and now on display at Manly Art Gallery & Museum. 

Andrew’s work, Her Golden Fields, “Her Beauty and her Terrors”, received a Highly Commended Award and was painted as a response to the catastrophic bushfires during the summer of 2019/2020.

You were selected for Express Yourself 2021 at Manly Art Gallery & Museum and received a Commendation for your series, Her Golden Fields, “Her Beauty and her Terrors” - congratulations! Can you tell us more about this series of works and your main influences? Do you see each painting as an individual work or are they inseparable?

This series of works is a painted depiction of the Australian landscape, representing my unique connection to its harshness and beauty. I was mainly influenced by the colossal bushfires that occurred at the end of 2019 and at the beginning of 2020, seeing how our landscapes were being destroyed. So, as a response to the event I painted the series as a way of preserving the beauty in Australian landscapes, not only for myself but for others as well.  While I do think each work can be seen as individual piece, I think they should be viewed as a whole, as each work contributes to creating a more impactful experience.

Looking back on the year that was, how did the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic last year impact how you developed your Visual Art BOW? And what advice would you give Year 12 students?

The disruption of COVID-19 was certainly a wall that blocked my creativity temporarily.  I struggled to drive myself to work hard during the lockdown period.  I tried to keep being consistent, and to keep being inspired by others who I admire, and I asked for critical feedback from my peers and teachers. The paintings I produced struggled to appeal to me at the beginning of lockdown, and it was not until I took a step back from my work at the time that I could finally see a picture. I started collecting and pinning a 2m x 1m board of references and pictures to inspire me and started scheduling dedicated times to work on my body of work. I also started changing the way I thought about painting, treating it as a vision in my mind rather than a depicted picture. In the end my approach did not completely change but I suppose my mindset did. 2020 was hard for all Year 12 students. I think the most important thing for Year 12s completing their HSC is to keep their flow of consistency and productivity, and to push themselves to the best of their abilities..

What’s next now you have completed year 12 at Freshwater High? Are you going on to tertiary studies in the arts?  Tell us more.

Ironically, during Year 12 I completed two major works; one of course being this artwork but the other being a 2D animation for Industrial Technology Multimedia called IRIS, for which I also received a lot of praise, winning the Billy Blue Bright Awards for animation. I have always loved film and animation and admired the work put into productions, and have always planned to follow the path of designing and creating stories. So now I am studying 3D animation and Film VFX at a private institution called Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) and have so far loved every bit of it and plan to have a full-time job by the end of my course.

Looking ahead, where do you see yourself in 5 years-time? What are your artistic aspirations??

In honesty, I do not know. All I want in the future is to keep creating and to keep crafting stories. I love what I am studying at the moment and it would be a dream to be successful in the ever-growing film and animation industry. I hope to one day be the person other artists can look up to.


Artist statement

The Australian landscape is one of the most harsh and varied environments on earth. Inspired by the Heidelberg Art movement, I can only describe the harshness of the Australian bush as a rare shimmer of beauty. Fuelled by my desire to preserve the beauty of nature through an immediate reaction to the catastrophic bushfires in early 2020, the ethereal force of nature through chiaroscuro, connotes a sense of connection between society and its landscape. My series depicts the aftermath’s beauty through my perspective and aims to portray the Australian landscape as an unsettling environment responding to the challenges faced in these present times - Andrew Lang.

Image:  Andrew Land, Her Golden Fields, “Her Beauty and her Terrors”, 2020, acrylic on board