FICTIONAL LANDSCAPE Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, 2018. 20 by 50cm.Oil on Board.

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Over many years I have often visited the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne. One of my earliest memories as a child was drifting through the pathways of this somewhat magical and mystifying landscape an exercise that I continued to pursue as a young adult when I would cycle from the inner suburbs on a fine spring day to experience the unfolding of the botanical displays of the garden. Later I discovered the reality that the garden was in fact a European construct imposed upon the original primordial landscape. Since the creation of the park, the garden has flourished and urban Melbourne has become a monument to steel and concrete.

In 2018, I was reflecting on the changing skyline of Melbourne and the forest of cranes which are everywhere evident on the horizon. As I was reading at the time the history of the Roman Empire I imagined a vision of Melbourne as a Roman city on a summer's day. This image persisted as I developed the painting= in the place of the sports precinct I created a lake or inland sea. (24.7.18)