IMAGINE sitting in your car on a trip through rural Australia. As your look out the window you catch glimpses of the passing landscape of open paddocks, fences, and road signs, the trees and the ubiquitous power pole or power cable.
It is these images that Pokolbin artist Rebecca Rath captures in her oil paintings, the glimpses one sees along the road to your destination.
“Landscapes that show the evidence of human presence, the suggestions of people being there, the road signs, power cables and fences,” Rebecca said.
“The works are like taking a Sunday drive and you never get out of your car - your experience of the bush and the drive is the sights you see from the car window.”
Rebecca, who grew up on the Northern beaches of Sydney, moved to her home in Pokolbin eight years ago and it was while living on a farm far away from all the urban amenities that prompted her to think about the influence of roads and car travel.
“You realise living away from town how much time you spend in your car traveling for everything and you realise how powerful the roads are, not only in the landscape but in your life because you are constantly on them, “ she said.
She was also influenced by the French artist Fernand Leger who lived and worked in the United States for many years.
He is quoted in 1973 as saying the combination with the speed has altered the habitual look of things. It is certain that the evolution of the means of locomotion and their speed have a great deal to do with the new way of seeing.
The other influence on Rebecca was Impressionism and her works have a sense of fluidity, a feeling of movement in the paintings.
As she takes her trips to and from home Rebecca takes photographs of her journey and it is from these she develops her painting.
Some of her works are postcard in size, symbolic also of a trip away but capturing a local scene for example she has made a painting of the landscape containing a fast food burger reflecting her trip to Singleton along the New England Highway where there is a billboard of MacDonalds at Whittingham.
A honours graduate from New South Wales University in Fine Arts, Rebecca also holds an Associate Diploma from TAFE.
Since moving to the Hunter Valley she has also spent two years working with master print maker James Whittington at Paxton learning the skills on monotype printing.
She is very proud of being included in an Australian exhibition of works held in New York in June 2011. Her work was used on the poster to promote the exhibition.
Recently Rebecca’s work was awarded the 2013 Trevisan International Art Critic’s Choice Award in Italy. The jury explained Rebecca’s works as: “very good works, in your art there is high quality and creativity together”.
The exhibition featured work from 90 international artists with countries such as Greece, Italy, Poland, USA, UK, Germany, Finland and Sweden exhibiting.
The exhibition “Little Treasures” had a set theme which was m four works created on a 20 x 20cm canvas.
Rebecca has been invited by Margan Family Wines to exhibit her work as a part of ‘Food & Wine’ during the month of June .
Her exhibition “Cockfighter Country”, will showcase landscape paintings of the Broke/Fordwich area based on the first settlers to the area – John Blaxland and his horse ‘Cockfighter’.
The work will be exhibited in the Barrel Room from Friday, June 7, through to Sunday June 30.
As a part of the Singleton Arts Festival, Rebecca has been invited to exhibit her body of work at the Singleton Library.
The exhibition is titled “Road Trip” will be officially opened on July 4, from 5.30 to 7pm.
The exhibition concludes Saturday, July 20.