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Between November 1989 and February 1990 Heron was Artist-in-Residence at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. This was his third visit to Australia since 1967. The brightness of the light and the vividness of the flora inspired substantial changes in his work. His paintings became more linear with an emphasis on calligraphic marks. Whereas previously Heron's work emphasised dense colour masses, the paintings inspired by the Australian residency stressed brilliant clarity. The body of the forms is dissolved in light, their outlines a shimmering presence. Heron has written: 'Painting as such is abstract. Yet the power of that abstraction is its capacity to render the outside world visible'.

September 2004