Home - Scott Wilmot Bennett

Ground swell - Graecum est; non legitur

Peopleʼs choice - Arts Wodonga HBS Contemporary Art Award.

Ground Swell
Victoria Valley/Gariwerd/Grampians National Park/Victoria/Australia
Scott Bennett
Ground swell - Graecum est; non legitur
Watercolour, charcoal, pastel & graphite, on paper
92 cm x 120 cm
Collection the artist

Artist Statement

Graecum est; non legitur (It is Greek, it canʼt be read)

Standing there in the landscape, I kept repeating to myself, how strange, I don't understand this. Geologically, it made sense and I had spent the last year as artist in residence in very similar country. Living in it and experiencing its seasons, I thought I should know it. My father's father was born in sight of these mountains which gave me comfort but didn't enable me to penetrate the mystery. I was reminded of the Zen saying, that the mountains and waters aren't mountains and waters. The feeling of estrangement was like the sound of a common word repeated until it becomes unfamiliar.

I'd been traveling the last few years, living and painting in the bush and yet the more I saw, the stranger it became. Symbols stand for things, I wondered if I wasn't experiencing the thingness of symbols.

The land is old, grey, wrinkled and lined. It is paper thin and spotted like my father's skin at the age of 93.

Detail is its very nature
Everything is dust-like

The grass
the leaves
the tiny flowers

Earth to earth
trees to ash
rocks to dust

Blowing away
it was disappearing while I watched.

I had been looking very hard but only found a continuum of phenomena.
There are no landscapes out there, they only exist in Art.


Meditating on this scene, I began to see it as stopped motion. Perceiving the landscape as fleeting, in the continuum of geological time, has enabled me to view it with a renewed compassion. The knowledge of its impermanence acts as an antidote to the feeling of alienation, its seeming immutability had produced in me.