The Hub 2020

The Hub Gallery
Caboolture Regional Art Gallery
Catalogue essay
FINAL 14.8.20
Rosie Lloyd-Giblett: A map of the journey
1 Sep 2020 - 27 Sep 2020

Landscape tends to be a cumulative experience. Being outside, in nature, builds on a personal scaffolding – a childhood spent building cubbies in the riverside gully, scrambling through dank rainforest, sitting under the waterfalls of inland creeks, and tumbling, head over heels down the steep sand dunes behind the beach. This was my Australian childhood, but Rosie Lloyd-Giblett’s formative years were spent differently – in the echoing openness of western Queensland, where the broad blue horizons meet the width of reddish country. Since then she has lived in Africa, the Northern Territory, then Cape York (teaching in Indigenous communities) and, for the last twenty years, on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Yet in her contemporary abstract paintings, no matter our experience, we understand something of what she expresses about her memories of being within a sensory, tactile and changing landscape, echoing within the layers vested in the picture plane.
Her body and the sea (2020) is a triptych that uses layered paint, drips and splatters to conjure up the turbulence of the ocean, the loss of direction that engulfs when you are upended by a wave, and immersion in its depths. Intermittent washes of orange draw on the morning sunrise, while the holistic embrace of the painting speaks to the power of the sea. Archways and window seats (2020) is a reminder of the urban environment that frames nature on the coast, yet in the detail of this work, patterns prompt the memory of a butterfly wing and the running sap of a tree emerges from the translucent white wash. Tenuous blue lines echo snaking river systems and, within its depths, we might find an echo of the violence inherent in industry, the pink leakage near the lower edge of the canvas its fallout.
Sky, water and the occasional eagle (2020) takes us to the pandanus palm that characterises Lloyd-Giblett’s current coastal environment, its openness suggesting elevation. The contour line with which she begins her plein air paintings is etched into the paint, like the lines left by a worm on the smooth bark of a tree. These trace memories of this place but also every place, with dramatic curves evoking the wingspan of the eagle and the spiky trajectory of the leaf, noting the way in which every memory we have is embedded in the psyche.
Lloyd-Giblett’s “Map of the Journey” extends her contemporary landscape into all of her landscapes. She said, “I have painted the light and the seasons in nature, the shapes I see in the tree-line, the skyline, the mountains. These abstractions are more about the negative space in the landscape and the way it feels to view the ancient trees, to crouch in their under-storey. I hope to capture their layers and connections to times past.”
Upward staircase to the sun (2020) is a contemporary hymn to this saltwater country, with translucent white wash allowing warmth to emerge to complement the surface blue, traced over by a sinuous orange line which snakes through the centre, and holds, within its tension, the divergent elements below. This exhibition is vested in the many places that Lloyd-Giblett’s experience and memories draw together, yet is made legible, in these paintings, to us all.

560 words
14 August 2020
Louise Martin-Chew

Love notes to the landscape 2020 by Rosie Lloyd-Giblett

First Bay

The water is clear and the rocks are layered with ancient markings
Pandanus nestles on the shoreline
Through their bumpy branches I can see triangles
Spaces to view the sky
Like a window pane
Capturing the sky, the water and the occasional eagle


Spikes in the mud
Somewhere there is a crab
On the rivers’ edge there is soft grass to kneel
Look up, then down and around
So many lines
Thick and thin
Criss crossed
I leave a note in the tree
Thank you for helping us breath


Gums reach high
Grey, Tan and Black
Their skin sheds and lays a blanket for us to sit on
Spikey grass and smooth rocks hide the creatures
There is archways and window seats
I keep turning my lens
Capture this way and that
Shut my eyes
I can hear quiet whispers of nature and sky