'Dead Horse Gap'

Art Statement

Bent, twisted and tortured under the relentless blasting of the icy wind, Snowgums weather the elements the same way they always have; with a grim mountain toughness, a shrewdness born of sacrifice and hardship, an unconquerable penance for survival.

Shrouded in the steel-grey of an angry snow squall, the hulking forms of the trees cut a formidable profile through the fog.  Russet reds, steel blues and grey-greens wrap around the pale twisted limbs in dramatic zigzag stripes.  Evidence of past hardships are worn like a grizzly mantle; the broken and bleached bones of limbs long ago sacrificed to the winter.  Beaten down and crippled by the seasons, these trees cling to the barest breath of life.

And in an instant they are gone.  Erased completely by a grey-white sheet of mist, a nothingness that swallows up all form.  Then just for the briefest moment there is a glimpse, or is it an illusion, of horses in its place. Brumbys.  Wild creatures, one rearing up pawing hooves at the sky, the white of its eye vivid amid the sheets of driving snow. There...  for just a split second was an image of 3 wild horses; defiant, resilient, hardened and pounded into shape by the High Country.

Just like Snowgums.

- Fiona Francois -

Dead Horse Gap oil painting