‘If anything terrible happened in my life, this is the place I would like to go. This is an exhibition about that sort of place in our lives’.
Landscape of longing draws together an impressive array of new and rarely seen paintings and drawings by three generations of artists from one Melbourne family –Hal Hattam, Katherine Hattam and William Mackinnon. Produced in response to their rambling house and beach holidays at the small coastal hamlet of Shoreham, each of the artists have revisited, photographed, drawn, painted and pondered this idyllic setting over a sixty two year span.
This timely exhibition highlights the complexities and significance of the Australian beach getaway and family retreats. For Hal Hattam the pristine empty sand and blue green water of Western Port intimates ‘a landscape of longing’, while for Katherine Hattam the beach is never purely a landscape but a site inflected by an inside psychological world. For William Mackinnon the road represents that transitional space of getting to and from this special place. What is shared is the significance of the psyche of a ‘somewhere’ away from and unlike everyday normal work and social life: the holiday place where you do what it is you really want to do.