International Travel


Crane Art Centre, Philadelphia, USA

Image Credit: Anthony Hamiliton


 International Travel


Australian artist Pat Hoffie’s new series International Travel uses a works-on-paper approach to reflect on some of the affects of global networks of communication. Carriers,’ the first aspect of the work, features images of sherpas carrying enormous loads in large four-panel watercolour panels that have been broken down and recomposed, representing the workers are interchangeable units of service. The other, Seven Days’, features vignettes form imaginary apocalypses, each painted in saccharine sweet high key colour palette.

The exhibition is part of an ongoing series that has maintained an enquiry into the changing nature of understanding what constitutes ‘work’ in art. While the artist’s choice of watercolour on paper to depict scenes of such epic weight may at first appear ill-judged, the medium’s use is also an approach adopted by the ‘artist-journeymen’ of former years.

This exhibition, conceived while walking along the tracks of the Everest Base Camp track in Nepal, painted in Australia and exhibited for the first time at the Crane Centre, Philadelphia, raised questions about the ongoing role of the ‘artist journeyman’ and the extent to which international travel with its globalised perspectives have influenced and/or inhibited art’s capacity to remain relevant.