18th November 2022 River is a painted ode to the great river that flows through Hobart from the middle of the island. Betty Nolan is an abstract artist who has lived in Southern Tasmania for over three decades in a home close to the river. Using repetitive geometrical form she combines visual and temporal observation to make a unique form of landscape painting.
Each oil painting uses the circle as an expressive ingredient influenced by early abstractionists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Max Ernst and modernists including Bridget Riley. The circle has added value as a symbol of the way that water from the river, timtumilli minanya or River Derwent, is added to human water supplies, rerouted for industry and agriculture and eventually returned to the flow through pipes. Storm water reenters the waterway collecting oils, soil and litter along the way, changing the nature of the waterway.
The main circular ingredient used is a 9cm nylon pipe from the artists home renovation, dipped into fluid inks and then stamped onto the canvas. From this beginning the design is formalised with oil paints. Imagery includes the Romantic aspects of the river, the moon setting over water (All the Moons), pebbles tossed (Pebbles)and the splash (Splash). In addition the paths of tacking yachts and maneuvering tankers join the back and forth of morning rowers in Bounce. The summary work is River Entity, an anthropomorphic imagining of a watery presence, fed by clouds and rain and rerouted many times as it flows to the sea.