Artist reaching new height in Benalla

Published on 10 March 2023

The Improbability of Love

Benalla Art Gallery this week installs a new exhibition by Australian painter Tony Lloyd, who in October last year was featured in the Guide to Australia’s Top 100 Artists.

The exhibition, titled High Plains Drift, features 38 paintings inspired by hiking trips around Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and Tibet. Painted from both photographs and memory, the works evoke the vast and epic landscapes of the High Country near to Benalla, with the exhibition even including a work depicting nearby Mount Buffalo.

Benalla Art Gallery Director, Eric Nash, said “Tony’s hyperreal landscapes go beyond pictorial representation. They occupy the same rarefied air as the landscapes themselves, and through their exacting execution, have audiences questioning the slippery space between reality and fantasy.”

“Tony is a meticulous artist and takes inspiration from a lineage of renowned landscape painters such as Caspar David Friedrich and Eugene Von Guerard - the latter fittingly featuring in our current Ledger Collection exhibition.”

Of the opportunity to exhibit at Benalla Art Gallery, Lloyd said, “I greatly appreciate this opportunity to show a more complete picture of the world I have been creating for years. High Plains Drift brings together for the first time a selection of my paintings from the past two decades. During this time I have painted hundreds of pictures. This presentation focuses on the landscapes in which I love to immerse myself.”

“Every painting I make is a view of the world that I have actively sought out by watching the landscape and noticing how its character is transformed by light and time of day. This sometimes involves climbing a mountainside at dawn and waiting for the sun’s rays to creep across a rock face, or scrambling over rocks at low tide when the angle of light reveals deep shadow lines on granite cliffs, or driving for hours along remote highways at night with a camera recording the view through the windscreen.”

The community is invited to meet the artist at the exhibition launch, 6pm Friday 17 March. Tony Lloyd will also return to Benalla to present an artist talk as part of the Gallery’s First Mondays series, 10am Monday 3 April.

High Plains Drift is on display from 17 March until 7 May 2023. A digital catalogue has also been developed for the exhibition featuring an essay by artist, writer, and independent curator, Dr Peter Hill.

Image: Tony LLOYD, The Improbability of Love 2022, oil on linen, 91 x 153 cm, courtesy of the artist and MARS Gallery


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