March 2023

- Sydney Opera -

Everywhere I go, I also like to paint the landmarks. Many stand as symbol for a place, some for a region, some for countries and the Sydney Opera House even for a whole continent. Everyone who sees this painting immediately associates it with Australia. The attractive building is located on a small headland in the large bay of Sydney. Even from the plane, I recognised its striking, gleaming white roof, which is modelled on the sails of a ship.

Our journey was spectacular: my husband and I reached the 5th continent on this first visit from New Zealand. Lush land followed the deep blue sea, it was characterised by fields and forests. The Australian outback with the striking Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, seemed far away. But on our onward flight the day after next, I was surprised how quickly the fertile farmland ended. It resembled a narrow green band that fringes the continent. After only a short flight, the reddish brown of the outback stretched out below us and I could no longer take my eyes off what I could see from the air. For minutes we passed over widely branching dry river valleys and white salt lakes. Some criss-crossed the land with thick arms, others formed almost round surfaces and stood out blindingly white against the reddish, sometimes pinkish, purplish or orange-tinged brown of the land. Even when I fell asleep with my head against the window and woke up hours later, the scene below me had not changed any further. The outback is not a place somewhere in the middle. The whole continent is outback. Incredibly large and strange.

How could I do justice to this completely different impression of Australia? So far, I had only painted the modern Sydney Opera House. Should I simply paint over the white sails of the striking roof in reddish brown? The idea was appealing, but I dismissed it. Instead, I decided during the flight to return to Australia at some point to paint the symbol of the outback, Uluru, as well. And right from that moment, the anticipation that precedes any consciously planned painting experience set in.


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