Rodney Black
Rodney Black

Northern Beaches Sydney, Australia

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Acrylic Paint on canvas with complimentary and detachable wooden frame.


What is your favourite Sydney tree Symphony? This artwork is a celebration of Angophora trees, here the Harbour Bridge and Opera House form the backdrop as the branches of the tree take centre stage.

In many ways Angophoras are just such a remarkable tree. Architecturally the tree is big with heights between 15 to 30 meters tall, and it’s the trunk and branches of the tree that I love. The colour palette of the tree’s bark is a subtle changing feast for the eyes. It goes from a pale pink grey in winter to an orange pink in summer and then sheds its skin and starts all over again. At sunset it’s the branches and petite leaves of the tree that provide the spectacular symphony of silhouettes on Sydney waterways.

Angophoras prefer to grow on westerly facing sandstone rock outcrops and they anchor their complex roots around large sandstone boulders. When I came across this black and white photo I’d taken from Mrs Macquarie’s chair in 1979 I was pleased to see that I was drawn to the scene because of silhouetted branches.

When I sketched the scene on canvas I noticed a symphony of shapes in the silhouetted foliage; it was if nature had created patterns to harmonise with mankind’s engineered structures. I was fascinated to see an upside-down silhouette of the Opera House in the foliage in the foreground of the scene.

It was an easy choice for me to add this project to my grey tone series of artworks. I’ve showcased cobalt blue and aqua green as the two feature colours to for this grey tone painting. For me, the combination of white with blue and aqua green represent the colours of Sydney. I’ve chosen to feature the colours in living trees as I admire how the Angophora grows its fine leaves in clusters. Adding the aqua green to the leaf clusters reminds me of the Sydney’s New Year Eve fireworks over the Opera House and bridge.

The artwork is on canvas with a complimentary frame in white and aqua green. The hand-crafted frame is attached by 4 screws at the back of the canvas frame for easy removal. The frame adds 3.8 cm to the width and height of the canvas dimensions (framed dimensions are 63.8 by 53.8).

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