Rodney Black
Rodney Black

Northern Beaches Sydney, Australia

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Acrylic paint on hardboard with three coats of gesso. Three coats of acrylic varnish to protect artwork.


Narrabeen lagoon is a part of people’s life in the surrounding suburbs of Cromer, Wheeler Heights, Narrabeen and North Narrabeen. Having been a resident in the area for twenty-five years I’ve watched the Black Swan population slowly increase from two to over thirty birds.

The Black Swan, a bird that mates for life, is a beautiful bird to watch flying close to the water’s surface. I was tempted to title this artwork “Return of the Jedi”, as the swans long necks in flight look like black and red laser weapons poised ready to defend the fragile beauty of Narrabeen lagoon. This landscape painting, in a 16:9 ratio, will help push the eye around the room and bring a sense of vitality and energy.

What strikes me about the beauty of the lagoon is the subtle colour shift of the Casuarina trees with arrival of the Black Swan and the change of season. The pine needles of the Casuarina change from grey-green to a yellow-orange-lime green that contrast vividly against the Black Swan’s red beak.

In 2014 a major upgrade of the multi-use track on the lagoon meant that people could complete a full circuit to get a great sense of the beauty the area has to offer. This artwork was not inspired by a photo, instead it’s a bringing together of the elements I admire in nature; trees, water, wildlife and Australia’s coastal environment with its subtle change in the seasons.


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