GEOFF HOCKING: Somewhere Near Here - Contemporary Victorian Landscapes
Geoff Hocking grew up on the central Victorian goldfields and was steeped in the stories of the diggings. Both grandfathers had been miners and his ongoing interest in local history has underpinned his art.
He has written and published extensively on Australian colonial history and his books on the goldfields, bushrangers, rebels and pioneers have taken him across the landscape that feature in his paintings today. Some of these books will be available at the exhibition.
The paintings for Geoff’s exhibition Somewhere Near Here - Contemporary Victorian Landscapes are of a non-specific landscape and are often an amalgam of several places. One or two are views around Melville’s Caves in the northwest of Victoria - this is bushranger country. Others are abstracted, or interpretations of a broader landscape typical of the central goldfields.
Accompanying the landscapes is a delightful series of smaller paintings of a domestic subject: fish, ready for the frying pan and usually accompanied by Geoff’s staple items - a lemon, a knob of garlic and a sprig of thyme. These paintings may have subliminal or even curious titles that are meant to amuse or at least challenge the viewer to investigate the connection.