LINDA GIBBS

"If ever there was such a thing as a landscape of the soul, it would surely be found in the studio of Linda Gibbs. The artist, who splits her time between South Gippsland and Melbourne, subscribes to the kind of art-making that Baudelaire might have described as ‘resonant’. Her works radiate with a lyrical wonder that speaks of an energy beyond the empirical world. ...... She paints with the soul of a poet and the eyes of a realist, to produce paintings that are recognisably Gippsland, while feeling distant and ethereal. Gibbs’ studio paintings are the outcome of endless hours spent in the natural world, absorbing its energy and producing small plein air studies. She explains: ‘The studies facilitate an intimate knowledge of the environment—from miniscule mosses to majestic mountains—which inform large scale, pared down paintings produced in the studio. [For me] it is always about the experience and privilege of sitting down for hours, observing nature’s wonders. My brushes are incidental’. ....Her glowing vistas are pervaded by a soft, almost phosphorescent vapour, which leads to doubt in the eye of the observer; are we experiencing reality, or have we drifted into a dream? The answer may be both, for Gibbs leads us into a kind of wakeful slumber, where our field of vision becomes blurred by the intrusion of the unconscious. As a record of the region, Gibbs’ canvasses serve a dual purpose. They faithfully document the curves and crevices of the earth, as we might encounter them on a misty morning, while maintaining the unerring sense that we are coasting through a spiritual plane. This metaphysical aspect reaps rich rewards; we feel refreshed and invigorated for having passed through Gibbs’ world. Hers is a place free of humankind, of pollution, of impending environmental catastrophe. In this they serve as a warning of what we stand to lose; if we fail to hear the sounds of a planet in decline, and if we fail to open our hearts to the richness of nature, in all of its earthly glory".

Simon Gregg

Curator, Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale