Sarah Hendy | Waiting for Daybreak
21 September – 5 October 2019
‘Waiting For Daybreak’ is a series of paintings characterised by verdant and luxurious plant growth with delicate ferns growing among a crowded landscape of giant stinging trees, figs, booyongs and flame trees. In 2017 Hendy was washed away in a flood in the middle of the night as a result of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie. Narrowly escaping drowning, spending hours badly injured in remote rainforest, in the dark, alone, trying to stay alive, waiting for daybreak to be rescued. The result of this narrative dilemma is a series of paintings that rethink the tension between the artist’s violent and lonely experience and the landscape’s aesthetic virtue.
Sarah Hendy is a multidisciplinary artist based in Victoria, Australia. From her idyllic and secluded studio on the coast, she investigates the sublime as an attempt to render visible what exists outside of language. Her recent work interrogates one of the most violent experiences of her life, a near-death experience that happened in one of the most beautiful parts of Australia after she nearly drowned in the Northern Rivers region of NSW as a result of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
‘Waiting For Daybreak’ is a series of paintings, oil on glass, this medium was introduced into Hendy’s practice as a way to not overwork an image. The nature of the glass demands that the painting be painted starting with the highlights and ending with the background, it means nothing can be changed or refined in the process and Hendy can’t view the artwork until its completion. The work is large and from a distance could be perceived as realistic but up close the painting is chaos reflecting the aesthetic of the Australian landscape and the techniques used to paint the work.