top of page

Camilla Tadich and Louise Hearman: Real/Unreal

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

Camilla Tadich. Fang It 2018

oil on linen

61cm x 92 cm

Camilla Tadich. School Lane 2018

oil on linen 40cm x 55cm

Louise Hearman. Untitled 1282, 2009 Oil on masonite, 61 x 63.5 cm

Louise Hearman, Untitled 1207. 2006 Oil on masonite 51 x 76 cm

A few years ago I drove to Alice springs, and I found the most beautiful thing in the wrecks of cars, machinery and dead animals along the side of the highway. It is like being in a Yves Tanguy painting. There's a violence and quietness that belong together. Now that's not to say at all, that the rich cultural and historical significance of central Australia went over my head, but I think that what I was searching for at that time in my life was content for my paintings that could connect my upbringing in a rural community to my love for the surreal and the unconscious.

The surrealist elements in my paintings are becoming less direct as I move away from fantasy style compositions and explore the symbolic weight of everyday things. It's like the saying 'reality is stranger than fiction'. I think that I will always be searching for new ways to convey mystery, narrative and emotion in my work. At the moment I am finding a lot of freedom in doing that through the treatment of the image rather than the subject itself and am finding paintings by Camila Tadich and Louise Hearman particularly fascinating for that. I have covered Louise Hearman in a previous post but am revisiting her in a context with Tadich because my fascination with her work has turned in a different direction.

In the case of 'Fang it' (Tadich), I am bewitched by the use of light. I could never paint in such a photorealistic way but I am inspired by the way the indication of a camera flash suggests a snapshot of a moment in time, like a pause. Although Tadich's work seems driven by one particular narrative while Hearman's is open - the careful treatment of light brings the compositions into a mysterious or surrealist realm without needing to abstract or distort the subjects.

 “When an artist concentrates so strongly on elements of reality, they become hyper-real.” 
 -John McDonald on Louise Hearman

Much of my work this semester has focused on place and I'm searching for new ways to explore the notion of presence within a space, ghosts of ourselves that are left behind once we leave a room and the way place lingers inside our memories once we have physically gone from it. I wrestle with representative painting like that of Hearman and Tadich, and different modes of abstraction to convey these ideas.



McDonald, John, "Mistress of Epiphanies." Australian

Financial Review, 2004.

Image credits:

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page