Fieldwork is a visually engaging contemporary art book that brings to life artist Jo Bertini’s long and intimate involvement with the Australian desert. Her pen and ink drawings, works in pencil, charcoal, as well as hundreds of small gouaches, are a vibrant visual diary of the changing landscape.
This highly illustrated book will reinvigorate the way we see the desert by creating a fresh perspective on the existing visual narrative. Spirited and uncompromising, Bertini is one of a only a small number of non-indigenous Australian artists for whom the desert has become an essential subject. As a woman travelling to extreme and remote areas with a string of camels, her experiences are unique.
It is from the hundreds of sketchbooks that make up Bertini’s archive that a selection of images has been drawn and distilled into a single stunning volume. Her work reflects the desert in it many moods – harsh and forbidding or a wonderland of colour and life as it appears after the rains.
There is a yearning in Bertini’s drawings and gouaches, an ache to connect withwhat she sees, before it disappears. Rarely do we get so close to the experience of an artist at work.
With an introduction by Robyn Davidson, author of the best-selling book Tracks, Fieldwork, is an authentic engagement with the desert lands and Bertini as apainter and explorer.