We're loving these strange, surreal works from the portfolio of Tristram Lansdowne, a Toronto-based painter who depicts floating spaces that range from impossible landscape forms to haunting urban zones. His newer paintings and etchings, collected in a recent show entitled Fata Morgana (defined as a complex mirage that seen in a narrow band right above the horizon), explore landscape, architecture and plantlife in complicated formations. To create the works, he draws from a wide range of materials, from self-shot photos to images found in books and online:
The pale rock formations that have been carved out that you can see in some of these paintings are taken from photos of Cappadocia in Turkey that a friend of mine took in 2009. Some of the paintings are based on ideas I got from the geological illustrations in Athanasius Kircher’s 17th century book on geology called Mundus Subterraneus. the botanical elements are mostly composed from photos I take of residential gardens and botanical gardens. I find the artifice in these kinds of gardens interesting; they’re like botanical stage sets, deliberately cultivated ecosystems in miniature.