Artist Statement of Claire Souter

‘Dutiful reverence’ is how the dictionary describes ‘homage’. It seems a fitting attitude to adopt when considering the natural world. Learning this attitude is a continuous experience. Working in the midst of the Wet Tropics Heritage area, I have the constant feeling of only touching the surface. Cairns is a long way from my western Victorian origins, my Adelaide education, my Mount Gambier life. For eight years now I have been painting tropical foliage. Leaves are generally used as a framework and support: a frame for a flower, a bird, a fruit, a garden, a lake, a picnic, a focus. I am putting the leaves inside the frame.

‘Focus on me. Discover what I do. Look at my visual grace, the gratifying balance of my design: the infinite variations of transparency, colour, shape, the contrasts, created spaces, rhythm, opacity.’

Leaves move towards light, They reflect light, They conduct light, They live on light. They give life. How do I paint all this? And why should I?