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Visual Analysis

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Shane Fitzgerald has used the photographic process to create the impressive vision of the landscape ‘Tempest: After Streeton’. This view is a fictitious creation that has been created by the particular elements and aspects of the work; and it challenges the traditional role of photography as a document of the real world. In addition, Shane Fitzgerald works significant elements together to promote a specific theme that makes spectators feel free to read into the image and to distil from it –an ‘awesomely’ sublime environment and extreme weather. This is in addition to exploring the human perceptions of the environment and telling people what the real art is. This artwork functions like a large ‘mirror’ in which the viewers may identify with a creative expression of the landscape to which it belongs. The ‘mirror’ gives an illusion of sublime weather under the conditions of tempest, which captures the viewers’ mind all the time—the vast realms and luminous coalescences of the grassland and dark clouds. The panoramic landscape at sunset has been manipulated, producing a paint-like effect across a vista of clouds at dusk, with extreme fears and depression sweeping over the horizon. This is the viewer’s first impression regarding the artwork’s composition in terms of evoking a breath-taking natural spectacle so intense it seems to pulse with life-force. In these intense stunning conditions, Fitzgerald seeks a sublime expression of the landscape by standout artwork techniques through composition, line, space, colour, medium and texture. The artwork represents the scene of tempest based on the composition, a focal point of clouds at dusk that balances the vista of the horizon. The line of interaction between reality and photography creates a harmonious landscape and the geographic horizon lines evoke the place where clouds meet the land’s edge. Consequently, hovering between abstraction and representation makes a space that assists with evoking wonder. The colour is alive, intensive and creative to celebrate the abstract over the ordinary, such as the dark sombre sky, scorched grasses and light penetrability. The presentation of colour makes the spectators feel the quite fluid conditions of the tempest that are personally on the scene. Furthermore, the artwork has shown a climate in the fictitious landscape that is geophysical and metaphysical. It has been interpreted as what real art is—it is about seeing and being, with a value-added experience of the people’s sentient world (Sally 2010). This artwork relies on the photographic medium; thus, this particular medium is a significant aspect of the spectator’s responses, because the photography has made people have eyes for the eloquence of light, colour and for the insights embedded in exquisite detail. On the other hand, the medium as a metaphoric representation projects the theme that there are spectacles of lives and sublime details in the landscape—a passionate, lively and intense reflection of the conditions of life, a place where viewers appreciate the landscape as a state of mind. The artwork ‘Tempest: After Streeton’ has successfully represented the intensity and content through the emotion of the artwork. The texture of the imagery has been expressed realistically through the diminishing of the items’ changes. The grasses and trees in the foreground are exquisite, it can be reflected that life is not thriving; the dark clouds are accumulated with various shapes and volumes, balancing the background’s sunny sky. The title of the imagery, ‘Tempest: After Streeton’, obviously reveals the emotion of extreme fears and depression before the tempest’s coming and it achieves this by an unusual effect of hyper-reality techniques (see Figure 1). Unconcerned with an ordinary view, Fitzgerald creates all the important elements together to make the viewers’ emotional intelligence of the world around the people and demonstrates how a person’s very psyche is deeply embedded in the spectacular and sublime appeal of the natural environment. Pulling the image together into a whole causes the spectator to feel a sense of time that is frozen and to dwell on that moment conveyed in the artwork. {draw:frame} Figure 1 Artist: Shane Fitzgerald Title: Tempest: After Streeton Date: 2008-2009 Medium: Colorado fire gloss print, Photographic Medium Size: 100.5×151.0cm (Source: University of Queensland Art Museum2010) Reference Butler, S 2006, _Capricornia-Between the Sublime and the Spectacular: the photographic art of Shane Fitzgerald_, Mackay, Queensland. _ _ Craig, G 2010, _The state we’re in: contemporary Queensland photography_, The University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane.

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