“I was drawn into the process of these paintings as if on a journey home, after many years traversing as a painter through a valley of many subjects, sometimes filled with conflicts. Like Ulysses, a sense of longing to get back home after long wars was the unconscious drive. I didn’t plan anything, and just let the paint have a discussion; to lead me. I threw away the maps and the plan again.
I approached the canvas only with the intent similar to an explorer of unknown territories who is weary and wanting to rest, but despite this cannot be broken in the spirit of exploring. Even sleeping, he dreams of adventures. I first set out on my own life as a young woman at 16 years old with no secure compass, and no plan other than an enthusiastic longing to explore life.
And now, many years later, like Ulysses or Odysseus in Homers Odyssey, I seem to be trying to make my way home, wherever that is. It seems that ‘home’, is not really a place so much as a ‘sense of place’, which remarkably can be felt in many places, but is suspiciously prevalent for me along winding paths and in pools of water through the Australian bush and presently in the Perth Hills. And it’s here and there that the familiar landmarks, the ones that feel like I am getting closer to home - like Ulysses tried to do for so long - are more about how morning or evening light dapples on a few rocks on a winding dirt path, or backlights a leaf; and how an absence of human presence is heralded by birds bossing each other about. Its more about how a twist in the road ahead - as it disappears - calls to you to come a bit further and see what’s just around this bend and the next ...”
Helen Norton April 2013