After Peter Watts, ‘Hepburn’
by Rose Lucas
Sudden rain hurtles hitting hot dust and sending it fizzing into ionised air the pungent smell of earth rising and mingling with a falling of cloud which roils and clashes breaking the bleached day into the sharp edges of coolness its slate-grey blade and fractals of white dry grasses whip and flatten in the onslaught and a parched canopy of clustering gums turn grateful faces up catching runnels of water and splinters of amber light that flood paddocks and towering reaches of sky
Peter Watts’ canvases are large landscapes in which the sky and the elements play a central role. Engaging with them is a visceral act that draws the viewer out of the narrow horizons of the self, connecting inside to outside, the moods and nuances of the world in which we find ourselves with our own interior ‘weather.’
I first saw ‘Hepburn’, on which this poem is based, at Salt Gallery in Queenscliff, Victoria. www.salt-art.com.au/product/hepburn/ . http://www.peterwattsart.com/#/hepburn-24-x-34/
Rose Lucas is a Melbourne poet and academic at Victoria University. Her first collection, Even in the Dark (UWAP 2013) won the Mary Gilmore Award; her second collection is Unexpected Clearing (UWAP 2016). She is currently completing her third collection, This Shuttered Eye. Her poems have been widely published in literary journals.