Bonython Gallery Adelaide, 1980
“Gypsum Palace Series” Catalogue


"Gypsum Palace" is a special place miles from anywhere. A real place. It
has become for me a symbolic battleground. This is a silent battle — perhaps
in my imagination, a product of the isolation of the working in this lonely,
beautiful place.

The battle is between the light and the dark, the unknown and the familiar.
Nature versus man.

There is a certain calmness, assurance, in the thought that the land is greater
than us. It relieves us of the pressure to have all the answers. Perhaps
that's partly why people stay on the land, sometimes to the bitter end; hang on
and hang on. The battle is reduced to simple terms. The enemy is known, the
victories transient and you can't win anyway.

"Gypsum Palace" is of the soil of Australia. Of itself it accepts the sun, the
wind, the sometime rain and the dust. At one with nature. Of the battle it
is a survivor, knowing the language of this land and its challenge; understanding
fear of the light, without condoning fatalism.

"Gypsum Palace is, in a way, a glorious celebration of failure. Yet it has the
feeling of an observer waiting it out. Waiting another time, another battle.
I see it as an Australian landscape from the inside.


Mike Green was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1941 and came to Australia at
the age of four. The son of creative parents, he is otherwise largely self taught.

Throughout his life he has lived and worked in Australia, Canada, the United
States and traveled extensively in Europe and the Middle East.

A strong individual, unwilling to fit into institutional moulds, he eschewed
academic training, preferring to learn through experience. In 1981 however,
he experienced his first period of academic study at the controversial School
of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and was joint winner in 1982 of their Boit
Award for painting excellence.

His recent stay in the United States culminated in a sell-out exhibition at
Boston's dark Gallery, which brought "a tremendous response from artists,
collectors and viewers from all walks of the Boston art community for his
masterful handling of a media known for its difficulty."

Two elements consistently inspired him throughout his creative life — the
qualities of the environment (both natural and synthetic) and the unseen quality
of spirit which animates the physical world.

Mike Green describes himself as "a wanderer, painting as I go, my work depending
directly on the experiences and subjects I find." Completing all his paintings
on site is absolutely vital to the way he works, building a relationship with
his subject that takes time, often discomfort, and the total involvement of
direct contact.