Scott Millican

“The eastern Australian landscape is both inspiring and visually stunning. I spent my childhood in the Shire on the Port Hacking River and have a long-term connection to the Illawarra and Shoalhaven coastlines. Covid has brought me a further appreciation of the topography of our region. 

Climate change has devastated the natural environment with bushfires, floods, and coastal erosion. I experienced the bushfires in Victoria and NSW in January, 2020 and have tried to capture both the fury and the bush’s regeneration in my past and present works. 

‘Stairway to Wyework' depicts coastal erosion on our doorstep, in Thirroul. This work began as a series of plein-air studies and was completed in my Keiraville studio. It shows the decaying foot access from Craig Street, Thirroul, down to North McCauleys Beach. Erosion of the coastline has exposed the moss-covered rocks and the old steel stair access has created an abyss. A historical narrative is glimpsed through the base of the three pines planted in front of Wyewurk. To quote D H Lawrence from Kangaroo: ‘And so the great tree-covered swoop upwards of the tor, to the red fume of clouds, red like the flame-flowers, of sunset.’

I paint impressionistically- the greatest compliments I’ve had are from people who experience an emotional relationship to something I’ve painted- “I’ve been there” or “I recognise that”- this is encouraging, and I’m thankful.”