The Violet Van by Amanda Penrose Hart

Artist captures the beauty of the land


Sydney-based artist Amanda Penrose Hart has just finished an exhibition of a new series of her work that focuses on the Australian landscape.

The Violet Van by Amanda Penrose Hart
Amanda Penrose Hart’s The Violet Van is symbolic of her childhood and suburban upbringing. Photo: Roller Photography

The exhibition, titled ‘Beautiful One Day, Perfect the Next’ ran from August 22 to September 15 at Mitchell Fine Art Gallery in Fortitude Valley.

On their website, Mitchell Fine Art Gallery described her work as “an expressive view of the Australian landscape from Sofala in NSW to Coolum in QLD” that “exudes a sense of spontaneity and adventure”.

Ms Penrose Hart said it took her a year to put the collection together.

“It’s a small body of work, which I spent 12 months putting together,” Ms Penrose Hart said.

“Some are Queensland specific, for example Stradbroke Island and Mount Coolum,” she said.

“The other works are from recent travels to Bruny Island [in Tasmania] and paintings from my rural property in Sofala NSW.”

Ms Penrose Hart said the series of paintings were inspired by traditional landscapes, Australian symbolism, and how those concepts entwined with her own life.

Amanda Penrose Hart at work
Amanda Penrose Hart spent a year working on her latest collection for the ‘Beautiful One Day, Perfect the Next’ exhibition. Photo: Roller Photography

“My motivations include this notion of the worlds being ‘half Drysdale’ in the sense that they are more traditional landscapes, and ‘half me’, meaning they explore overlays of my life, represented by caravans and objects of the sort, on top of colours and shapes indicative of this experience,” Ms Hart said.

“I couldn’t resist putting the early Australiana caravans into my paintings because they are a rare 1950’s find, they are somewhat representative of things from my childhood and my suburban Brisbane upbringing,” she said.

“Not only are they spare accommodation; they are a souvenir.”

‘Beautiful One Day, Perfect the Next’ wasn’t Ms Penrose Hart’s only recent exhibition.

“I’m currently in an exhibition at Newcastle University,” she said.

“It’s a project about WWI, specifically showing my Gallipoli drawings.”

“I’m currently in an exhibition showing works from the Western Front [in Europe], as well, at Bathurst Regional gallery.”

“I enjoy being in exhibitions with like minded painters.”

Yaroomba Beach by Amanda Penrose Hart
Amanda Penrose Hart captures the diversity of the Australian scenery in Yaroomba Beach. Photo: Roller Photography

Ms Penrose Hart said World War I has been a particular source of inspiration for her.

“More recently I have found myself being involved in World War I projects,” she said.

“There is nothing more motivating than actually having the opportunity to travel to these places, for example, the Western Front [in Europe] and Gallipoli; enabling people to remember the devastation, and the history behind it all,” Ms Penrose Hart said.

“It’s always important to consider the broader conditions from which a painting emerges.”

Next year is set to be a busy one for Ms Penrose Hart, with more work and exhibitions on the horizon.

“I have recently started a large landscape for the 2019 Glover Prize,” she said.

“There may be a Second World War project coming along too.

“I also have a solo exhibition [coming up] in Sydney at King Street Gallery on William.”

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