Hyperrealism and Improvisation
Painting and Drawing
Hyperrealism and Improvisation are two ways Iíve been working the last years. Two quite different modes of
expression fit for different purposes.
Hyperrealism for the series of landscape paintings from a trip along the Oodnadatta Track.
By Hyperrealism I mean a realistic treatment of a scene, an inventory of detail, but at the same time
something more, an attempt to give a sense of the experience of the place – or at least my experience
of it: The vastness, the sense of geological time, of grand and overwhelming natural forces slowly and
inexorably at work, the struggle facing life in an extreme environment.
It's a landscape shaped by heat and dryness, also by water that now and again inundates it and, because
of its flatness, floods all over, turns the earth soft and erodes it.
The Improvisations are drawings done in my residency at St Vincent's Hospital.
That began almost at the same time as my trip along the Oodnadatta Track. In my once-weekly visits to
St Vincent's Caritas Christi studios I would attempt to fill as many sheets of paper as quickly and
spontaneously as I could.
Perhaps a respite from the paintings determined by the world without, these are genuine improvisations,
determined by the world within. No prior plan, only the spontaneous expression of a state of mind. The
game was to try to make each mark lively and interesting and then the next likewise in relation to the
marks gone down before. If a subject matter arose along the way, then good. If not, no matter.
There is no one way in creativity. Different ways not only serve different purposes, they can inform one
another. Operating these two modes in parallel has, I believe, made me better at both.
James Yuncken, June 2018