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John F.C. Clarke

My enduring interest has been in southern Africa's natural and cultural landscape and I have attempted to convey a particular vision distilled from the experience of traveling, collecting and recording over many years. I have evolved travel rituals - crossing borders, following historic trails and identifying landmarks and 'man marks' - that have allowed me to access visual material and to observe the endless metamorphosis of a complex, layered land. I have been cognizant of geological forms, the arid vastness of areas, mining activity, battlefields, domestic structures, and the artifacts and detritus of past and present inhabitants.

In recent years I have chosen to investigate the close interplay between inside and outside spaces. Images are forged from the observed and the imagined, the hidden and the revealed. I continually seek to convey a certain quality of light, an illusion of space, and a state of tension between various components within the pictorial format. Elements of landscape and still life merge or are juxtaposed. At the same time I have become increasingly interested in the symbolic and metaphoric possibilities of stone or boulder-like forms presented in particular, or seemingly random relationships, in groups, or in conjunction with architectural structures.