"Few Australian artists have cast their vision across so broad a landscape of ideas and traditions, both real and mythological, as Arthur Boyd and few have sustained their creative powers with such force and energy."(E Capon in B Pearce, Arthur Boyd, Sydney, 1993, p.7)
There is no other Australian artist whose name is more synonymous with the landscape than Arthur Boyd. As early as 1936 Boyd took himself on field trips, working very quickly with a limited palette to create harsh and at times beautiful images of the landscape. Often using only a pallette knife boyd worked almost in this impressionist technique, applying the paint very quickly and generally very thickly.
Boyd has always been an artist in search of a landscape. As a painter he found himself in areas quite diverese, from Rose bud in the Mornington Peninsula to many years later at his beloved Shoalhaven in New South Wales. In the early 1950s Boyd travelled on the Ghan from Port Augusta to Alice Springs, a landscape and environment that had a profound and lasting effect upon him. On the trip he produced many drawings that would later be the inspiration for his most acclaimed Bride series.
The Bush Pond was painted prior to Boyd and his family's departure for England in pursuit of a greater challenge and inspiration. The painting follows the lone explorers journey through the desolate landscape filled with dead trees, arranged in a manner that characterises the Australian landscape as an uninhabited and abandon one. The iconic features used throughout the painting, the dark birds and wild cockatoos hovering, the isolated figure of the horse and rider, frail sheep and the dry grassy setting - act like a ghostly reminder of the remote isolated country.
Few artists can so fluidly move through a career of landscape painting as impressively as Arthur Boyd. His immense imagination and skill continues to dazzle and intrigue. Few painters can turn the arid, burnt and at times ugly landscape into one of beauty and intrigue.