Ann Holt

Circumnavigating the Island 2001-2006

Circumnavigating the Island, 2001, oil on canvas,  92 x 3060 cm.

Circumnavigating the Island (2001) is a thirty meter, panoramic landscape painting that wraps around the walls of a gallery, surrounding and immersing the viewer in the ethereal light and beauty of the landscape and waterways around Bruny Island. The completed painting was launched by Senator Bob Brown in 2001at the inaugural 10 days on the Island festival curated by Robin Archer in Hobart, Tasmania. The exhibition subsequently toured to Melbourne (Monash University), a number of regional galleries within Australia, and internationally. It was included in the Australian Visit exhibition at the Danish National Museum, Frederiksborg in 2006, officially opened by HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

The enormous scale and experiential nature of Circumnavigating the Island captures the atmospherics, mood and intensity of Bruny Island. It is a place drenched in ethereal light and beauty. However, Bruny also exudes a dark undercurrent that perhaps stems from the regions colonial history. There is a feeling of a strange presence along with the sense of an absence on this island.  The trajectory of multiple canvas panels installed as a continuous horizon line around the room concludes with a small paper plaque with the singular word 'sorry' - an acknowledgement of the traditional owners and in the spirit of reconciliation.


Catalogue Essay Ann Holt: Circumnavigating the Ialsnd by Bronwyn Scanlon

Essay in Danish from catalogue Australian Visit, Danish National Museum, Frederiksborg [PDF 410KB]