North and South 1992-2014 is a mid-career show of paintings and works on paper by Marina Strocchi, an Alice Springs based visual artist whose work has been widely exhibited throughout Australia and the USA.
North and South has a strong narrative structure that relates directly to the topography of the Northern Territory. Starting with the tangled mangroves of Darwin Harbour, Strocchi traces iconic creatures and plants on a journey that will be familiar to many Australians – from the water buffalo and jabiru of the Top End to the mulga and feral cats of the desert.
The exhibition represents all phases of Strocchi’s twenty-two year career, ranging from the early Central Australian landscapes of specific sites to schematic and abstract reductions of natural and introduced elements of the environment. It encompasses small scale gouaches and oils, etchings, lithographs and monumental acrylic paintings, illustrating the trajectory of Strocchi’s artistic practice from figurative narratives to the most recent conceptual abstractions.
Distinct, clever and expressive, Marina Strocchi’s [paintings] take the worn genre of landscape painting and take it back to basics without forfeiting conceptual depth. In simplicity, Strocchi reminds us that these works are interpretations of the land that aren’t concerned with particulars of logic. Her worlds operate in a language of their own, and while seemingly disorganized function as perfectly cohesive, symbiotic wholes. Everything has its own place, and as we try to gauge her landscapes in their entirety we might get a little lost, but it’s a very rewarding confusion.Monica Karpinski, 2012