Merrick Belyea // Recent Paintings
Recent Paintings extends Merrick Belyea’s contemporary view of landscape painting, seeking to capture the figurative and political essence of place.
European traditions of naturalism in landscape are enmeshed with the politics of capturing or colonising the land. Merrick Belyea’s landscapes are pared back, stripped and worn as if clinging to beauty before all is bulldozed and covered over with suburban blankness. The tree becomes a talisman for swathes of forest levelled for industrial progress. The heavily worn surface becomes a blank canvas for development. The muted tones like a fading memory of Arcadia and the abandonment of utopian ideals. We are left with fragile remnant bushland clinging grimly to rocky outcrops on urban fringes, witnessing wholesale destruction and their own inevitable demise.