head north, then west An essential aspect of Margaret Dix’s art practice is her immersion in the landscape. With a pochade and a sketch book, she gathers visual information before returning to her Sydney studio where she allows her memory to take over. Dix’s primary concern is communicating the feeling of a place. A recent road trip, seeking escape from the claustrophobia of the covid 19 restricted city, resulted in this series ‘head north and then west’. It is a vibrant celebration of the landscape of north west NSW and exudes the sense of freedom and joy she experienced by returning to nature in this turbulent time. All these works available @moreegallery
just keep walking Her daily ritual of walking in her local park, often as dawn broke, provided routine and balance to Margaret in the turbulent times of 2020. The changes she observed as the seasons rotated, the succour nature provided and the space created for reflection by this ritual, all profoundly influenced her work in this series.
Skopelos Island, Greece In September 2019, Dix spent a month in Greece and was completely taken with the beauty of the landscape and generosity of the people. Having been a student of Ancient History, she relished the opportunity to linger at ancient sights and slowly absorb the landscape which so powerfully evokes Greek mythology. An Artist Residency on the Sporadean Island of Skopelos enabled her to translate this experience into paint. Her Greek series is the result of plein air and studio work depicting the stunning landscape and dramatic beauty of the island. As in many of her works, Margaret is drawn to the sea and the temptation it brings. The changing colours of the Aegean set against the green of the 'green island' as Skopelos is known, are always present in these paintings and remind us of the powerful emotive capacity provided by nature in it's simplest form. Again, Dix is asking us to slow down, look and enjoy the beauty of the natural world.
The Kimberleys When Margaret Dix returned to her urban studio after a 4000kilometre journey through the Kimberley region in Western Australia, she urgently wanted to capture the beauty of the region, the temperature of the environment and the tranquillity she experienced in the vast landscape. Dix is aided by watercolour sketches made on the road and notes she scribbled at the end of each day but relies heavily on memory when she paints. Her ambition is to capture the feeling of this place she found so affecting and while in some paintings she offers recognisable landmarks, in others she is simply trying to share the joyful experience of swimming in the camp creek at the end of a hot day. In covid isolation in 2020, Dix returned to this subject matter and reflected on this place through the prism of a changed world.
The Australian East coast Dix was born and raised on the northern beaches of Sydney and feels deeply connected to the sand and sea. Her upbringing was an idyllic combination of playing in bushland which was her back garden and swimming at the beach which was a short walk from her home. This was a time of unsupervised freedom when the only rule was to be home before dark. Whether it is through the prism of traumatic bushfires or the comfort she gets from the sound of crashing waves or a sleepy lagoon, the sea is a subject Dix returns to time and again. In the covid restricted world of 2020, Dix took to the roads of NSW and relished being in the fresh air and wide open spaces of the Australian countryside and this too provided creative stimulus for a new body of work.