Burning Mountain

Sydney, Australia. Architecture in its brave forms of skywards-swinging glass façades, confusing reflections, overlapping lines and surfaces; structures, whose rhythm unites with life deep down in the canyons of crossing streets, passages and exotic parks. Sea creatures, hulls, sails and rigging associate the openness to the ocean, from which the European settlers discovered and conquered the continent starting an epoch of fast-moving development after thousands of years of seclusion.

Primeval giant trees and palms with slim trunks and sea-windswept tops contrast to the erected towers, constructions of glass, steel and prestressed concrete. Tree trunks and roots of enormous eucalyptuses continue growing in the glass façades, are reflected and distorted – it seems as if the rips of the leathery leaf took up the structure of the steel skeleton beneath the glass surface.

A mountain burning, since two thousand years a coal field smoulders deep down below. Flickering steams rise from fissures, sulphurous films colour the hot rocks white to yellow to red. Bush fire flames transform the eucalyptus and the grass trees into black structural steles, dry palm leafs into grotesque forms, which rustle in the harsh winds sounding like an uncanny choir of transience which no bird call dares to interrupt. Black branches of Banksia with their rock-hard seed capsules pinch into the hot sky. But still growth draws from the rusty red to pale white ashy earth with fresh green tufts of leafs and uniquely formed blooms unfolding and enchanting.

The embers of fire and sun, the coast formed by the forces of nature, solitary paths in the hardly touched bush, plants and animals in an alien and lavish play of colours and forms – unity and contrast of nature and architecture. My experience pushed me to choose water colours and pen-and-ink drawings.

The sharp stroke of pen with ink or sepia enables me to depict manifold structures as well as movement, sometimes sharpened by the cut of the scissors towards a collage or elaborated through washing with brush and water colour.