Tropical flora is a recurring subject in Christopher Bassi’s paintings. Certain plants become symbols of shared climates, cross-cultural experiences and a shifting idea of ‘home’. Paintings such as Shade from the Sun help Christopher to locate himself in the world, connecting his home of Brisbane – where he encountered this particular palm – with his family connections to Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait where plants like this one also flourish. Chris explains:
This is an Alexandra Palm. It’s a species endemic to Queensland and vegetation that, in my imagination, helps locate Brisbane within its particular subtropical climate.
Christopher is interested in the act of painting as storytelling. The cropped composition of Shade from the Sun suggests only a fragment of a larger memory or story, one that is personal to Christopher but also perhaps familiar to many of us. He is inviting us to look beyond the edges of the frame to imagine a bigger narrative about place and identity.
City in the Sun artwork credits
Shade from the Sun 2021
Oil on canvas
Museum of Brisbane Collection