The genre of Landscape painting is often very provocative, this is because the Artist and the Audience bring their unique cultural associations into the conversation [that is] compelled by the art work. In other words, Landscape is seen through a cultural lens.
As an Artist I invite this conversation by investigating Neo-Romanticism as a conduit to the emotions and memory, and I combine that with the heady gestures associated Neo-Expressionism; styles of painting are immediately loaded with culture and intoxicating nostalgia.
My artwork is a response to the natural environment, and being Australian I respond to my local surrounds; that is, I source my creativity from the forest’s of the NSW coast line and the Blue Mountains, and paint what I feel, rather than what is actually seen. The outcome of this is potent impressions that appear like memories. When painting, I consciously explore my own aesthetic inheritance and influences; and when the art work is viewed by somebody else a different perspective is realised. This point of departure can engender a conversation relating to what cultural aesthetic vernacular is, and what typifies landscape – particularly in Australia.
Virginia Settre is an artist who could not claim to be inspired by nature, but rather compelled to explore the aesthetic understanding of nature though the lens of culture. She creates artworks/paintings that are conceived in an Australian context and applies her own interpretation subverting the established ‘Australian’ vernacular or what is perceived as ‘typically Australian’. By doing this Settre opens up a conversation relating to culture and inherited cultural aesthetics.
Settre explores Romanticism and applies expressionistic gestures to her art work to create landscapes that evoke memory and a unique perception of place. By linking culture to the perception of nature she explores a diverse appreciation of the aesthetic of landscape.
Australian culture and nature have been a theme of Settre’s artwork right throughout her studies and her professional career. Settre has an Advance Diploma in Fine Art and a Degree in Fine Art and Visual Culture, and also is an Independent Curator and Community Cultural Project Coordinator. She has worked on numerous arts based projects working directly with multicultural and newly arrived Refugee groups, developing art installations at cultural festivals and events. She has also curated pivotal exhibitions in Regional Art Galleries. She is an emerging artist who has not only received highly commended awards but her solo exhibitions have proven her capacity as a career artist.
Virginia's studio is situated in Bulli, NSW, Australia.