New Artist – Anna Fitzpatrick – Great Southern Land

regrowth after fire, oil on canvas, 152 x 244 cm


The latest member of the Handmark stable, Anna Fitzpatrick, is about to unveil her vivid oils and we are in for a treat. Vibrancy and richness of colour. Thick textural layering. Bold landscapes that spark feelings of joy. These are the hallmarks of Anna’s works and they will be on full display in her first Handmark exhibition next month.

Anna’s Great Southern Land is a love letter to “the mythic landscape of Tasmania.” Her large-scale oil paintings pay homage to both the power and fragility of this ancient landscape. They take the viewer in close by focusing on minutiae, such as Banksia trees which are a recurring theme in her work: “I admit I am a little obsessed with them as they are the perfect metaphor for this raw and powerful land,” Anna tells us.

“Banksia’s date back 65 million years, and they have been to hell and back, surviving ice-ages and bushfires.” This message is powerfully delivered in Mythic Banksia where an ancient tree clings to life above a sheer drop at Cape Pillar on the Tasman Peninsula. Battered by wild winds “it is old and gnarled, and full of stories – but still here.”

But, Anna also injects “sparks of joy” into these harsh landscapes. In Regrowth after Fire, sparked by childhood memories of hiking through Mount Field National Park, a ghostly banksia holds centre stage, but, all around, bursts of colour break through as flowers and other new life emerge from the ash: “Not for this banksia a fiery end, but a new life beginning. With the first buds springing forth in the moonlit sky.”

Anna Fitzpatrick’s Great Southern Land exhibition runs from April 22 – May 9.