2008 Gateless Gate Utopia Art Sydney

"A Road, a Gate and a Forest" 2008 archival oil on polyester canvas 180 x 484 cm. Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection.
“A Road, a Gate and a Forest” 2008 archival oil on polyester canvas 180 x 484 cm. Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection.
"Leaving the Trees" 2008 archival oil on polyester canvas 180.5 x 481.5 cm.
“Leaving the Trees” 2008 archival oil on polyester canvas 180.5 x 481.5 cm.

A statement about gates… The road up the low hill leading to the gates at the entrance to Tantulean Creek is a place of abrupt transition: from a cleared grassy plateau dotted with granite boulders to the deep valleys and forested slopes made of the tilted metamorphic rocks of the coastal escarpment.  A few yards down the track to the gates, distant mountains are easy to see, but before them, space shrinks to a few metres of dark forest. Sometimes in the mornings, the two gates are lit by oblique shafts of light and glow against the compressed dark space around them. Beyond the eastern of the two gates is the Tantulean Valley….I have not been through the southern gate. It has always been locked except for one occasion. On that morning, I sat on a fallen log next to the eastern gate. A shaft of light illuminated the unlocked gate and the gate chain dangling from its post. A doubt about trespass combined with calculations about ‘Do I want to go further away from home?’, made me decide not to go on. Every metre is another metre to retrace on the return. I decided not to go, so what lies beyond the top of the slope behind this gate, I haven’t seen. A few minutes after I started for home, I met the owner of the gate, returning on his bicycle to his gate.      John R Walker, October 2008.