1. Nolan’s Fired, 1984, Acrylic on paper, 76 x 56 cm, Latrobe Regional Gallery Collection, purchased with assistance of the Australia Council, 1985.
Christopher Coventry is a well-established artist of his generation. Born in Adelaide in 1944, he studied at the South Australian School of Art. He spent time in Gippsland teaching at the art school during the same time as Euan Heng, supervising both Undergraduate and Masters students.
Coventry’s practice has been influenced by the new ideologies and movements explored through the 1960s in response to the global impact of the Cold War. Minimalism, Abstract Expressionism and Colour Field painting were some art movements born out of this time, and ideas from each of these may be found in Coventry’s work.
Whilst Coventry’s work may be more closely associated with abstraction, his earlier work from his time in Gippsland often references the history and themes of the local area, thereby creating a narrative in the work.
In Nolan’s Fired, the painting is separated into blocks of colour, and the verticality of the tree trunks create focal points and pattern. Further to the lone trees that extend beyond the painting, branches and twigs in singular brushstrokes mark the forest floor, suggesting a deforested landscape. Through this depiction, Coventry references the local logging industry of Gippsland, which began back in 1882 in Orbost.
Coventry lives and works in Melbourne. He has shown in exhibitions around Australia since 1969 in both regional and state galleries.