Artist's Statement

Rowan Fotheringham Life for me has always been about making pictures. Be it with a pencil, a camera or a brush.

Sydney's magnificent harbour and beaches exerted their inevitable magnetism on me as a boy growing up on the North Shore where I enjoyed endless hours of adventure exploring the upper reaches of the Middle Harbour River.

Like many Sydneysiders I have vivid childhood memories of the harbour.

Ferry trips to the zoo and crossing the heads to Manly in a storm, visits to Fort Denison and Luna Park and exploring what was then an oily shoreline down at Berry's Island.


I find inspiration in the pleasure of interacting with nature. The beauty encountered when surfing, sailing or walking in our National Parks, along a beach, or along the harbours shoreline offers a welcome retreat from the complexity of city living and an endless source of subject matter for drawing, photography and painting.

Our beaches and waterways provide a feast of visual textures, colours and shapes that refresh the eye and rejuvenate the spirit.

By contrast, the gritty end of Sydney Harbour west of the bridge with its workboats, shipping, wharves and cargo handling has held its own fascination.

Of particular appeal are the character vessels such as the tugboats and fishing boats, and the shoreline and islands of the inner western harbour around Balmain where my family and I have lived for the past 20 years.

Unfortunately much of the working waterfront activity of this once bustling port is vanishing as shipping activities are relocated away from Sydney and docklands are resumed for apartment development.

Having restored a wooden boat called "Myoora"..., I can now access Sydney Harbour and Pittwater's myriad bays and river systems from any angle.

Myoora is an aboriginal word meaning "resting place". She is a motor sailing version of Cliff Gale's classic Sydney Harbour "Ranger" design. The generous proportions of her cockpit make her and ideal floating studio.

The work on this web site represents 35 years of engagement with my surroundings as a picture maker and Sydneysider from land and on the water.

Biographical Details

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Waterborne Images