Jon Cattapan, ‘Raft City No. 4’, surveillance version, 2015. Oil on linen, 198 x 165cm. Courtesy: the artist and Rockhampton Art Gallery, Rockhampton QLD.
In 2008 Jon Cattapan was commissioned to be Australia’s 63rd official artist for the Australian War Memorial. Known for picturing universal city panoramas and layered transmissions, his experiences in Timor Leste and in particular his adaption of night vision technology had a profound effect on his practice. This exhibition reveals depictions of urban topographies and the way human beings claim territory. Through the lens of surveillance and conflict, Cattapan’s vistas and their ‘hard waste’ detritus also invoke questions around the makeshift nature of contemporary urban life and its fluid sociology. These paintings are for the first time brought together with works that were made directly as a result of his experience in Timor Leste, including a suite of haunting night vision photographic images recorded on night patrols.