David Collins’ paintings inspire serene contemplation

There is great privilege in returning to the work of two artists who became part of Artswest’s Emerging Young Artists group, at Blacktown in 1986. David Collins and Ana Pollak have been living for many years on Dangar Island, observing and responding to the rhythms and changes of the Hawkesbury River and capturing their minutiae in paintings and drawings.

Mooring Lines 1This time it is David, whose recent paintings can be seen at Depot 11 Gallery, 2 Danks St, Waterloo, until April 17. Whether large or small, each one seems to invite close inspection and more distant contemplation. Mooring Lines, left, oil on canvas, 41cm x 41cm. There is a deep stillness about the works, even though scenes suggest oncoming weather change or the movement of boats.

Through David’s eyes we can appreciate the beauty and sense his love of his surrounds.

In a reflection on David Collins’ work, Dr Andrew Yip of the Art Gallery of NSW speaks of the “poetry of the places David paints”. He describes the way in which the massive steel geometry of the Brooklyn Bridge accentuates the undulations of water flowing between its pylons, draws attention to the landform through which the train passes, and emphasises the drama of sheer sandstone cliffs and leaning trees.

Dural Summer“Though derived from local forms, the abstraction that Collins touches upon allows for broad, personal responses. In his strokes one can read the purpose of a draftsman and the poetry of a calligrapher. His paintings are, like the artist himself, softly spoken but heartfelt,” he says.

Dural Summer, oil on canvas, 112cm x 150cm.

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