The romantic portrait of the Australian landscape portrayed in China’s auspicious colour, Red (Hong) translates a sense of bewilderment and loss of identity for Narelle Cridland, an Australian expat living abroad in an Asian destination.
The Australian landscape is flooded in a Hong wash and the image of the romantic eucalyptus tree and the majestic Boab tree are manipulated to sever immediate associations. Although the trees are strongly connected to their Motherland, a sense of unfamiliarity is deliberated within their environment. Alienated and isolated the trees endeavour to merge with the surroundings and search for an explanation and a sense of belonging. The symbolic representation of the trees provide a cultural vessel and one the artist uses to embark on a journey of self-discovery. The trees become a self-portrait and a barrier as she explores cultural identity, influences and boundaries.
Cridland completed a Master in Visual Arts in 2006. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Photography (Distinction). She has exhibited her work in Melbourne, Adelaide and Hong Kong. She was a finalist in the 6th Prospect Portrait Prize 2009, the Voices of Women Competition Hong Kong 2015, Scope Galleries Art Award – Art Concerning Environment 2016 and Pro Hart’s Outback Art Prize 2017.
Hong was exhibited at the Richmond Town Hall from 25 July to 31 October, 2018.
Image Credit: Narelle Cridland, Red Leaves, (2017) detail, C-print metallic paper with hand etching, 101 x 143cm.