The Games of Stones

 

Yamba Museum

23rd September – 20th October 2016

 

Dr John H. Jackson, The Art of the Rock Doctor

From the Core (Acrylic on canvas)

A long, long, long time ago, over one billion years ago,

A giant plume was born in the liquid core of the earth. This giant plume rose up from the liquid core by over 2,000 kilometers to just beneath the earth’s crust. It then started tear apart the old super continent known as Rodinia and built the floor of the Pacific Ocean.

Today, the super plume is known as the Pacific Super Plume and is located in the South Pacific.

 

Pacific Parent (Acrylic on canvas)

The Pacific Super Plume is over one billion years old and is the parent for the rocks that form the floor of the Pacific Ocean. It appears to have a number of smaller plumes and hot spots associated with it. Immediately adjacent to the Super Plume is a “ring” of rock plates (see areas of purple) that are colder than the Plume and are sinking down towards the liquid core.

At roughly 100 million years ago the Super Plume was very active. This pulse of activity was probably what triggered the opening of the Tasman Sea and ultimately reversed the flow of the Clarence River.

 

Round the Bend (Acrylic on canvas)

Water on the outside of a river bend travels faster then water on the inside. As a consequence coarser and heavier sediment grains fall to the bottom on the outside bend whilst smaller and lighter grains fall to the bottom on the inside.
This arrangement of coarse to fine sediment on a river bend is sometimes called a “point bar” by geologists and sedimentologists.


 
 

Once Before a Time (Acrylic on canvas)

Six thousand years ago the Clarence emptied into a giant lake system that stretched from Grafton to just west of Yamba. Remnants of the old, folded, Tasman Mountain Range can be seen in the bottom right. Immediately left of these are the talus, scree and fan deposits. Left again are the first river channels out of the mountains. The green represents the flood plains of the pre-historic Clarence River when it flowed “backwards” into the central inland sea, the “Eromanga”. The purple areas represent the lagoons in the flood plains that filled with plant material and later formed coal.

 

 

 

Once Upon a Time (Acrylic on canvas)

Three thousand years ago, the giant lake system had been half filled with sediment and the mouth of the Clarence River had moved from Grafton to just south of Maclean.
Erosion in the Valley over 3,000 years might have revealed a different pattern in the old pre-historic flood plain (green). Erosion might also have changed the boundaries of the lagoonal, coal deposits (purple) and exposed more of the fan shaped flows out of the remnant mountain range. A small red dot is a remnant of the border ranges volcanic activity.

 

 

 

Night Tunnel (Acrylic on canvas paper)

The Bunya Phyllite, Greenstone and Neranleigh Fernvale Beds at the eastern end of the Legacy Way Tunnel, together with the Normanby Fault inspired this artwork.

Reference is “Tunnelling within the Bunya Phyllite of Legacy Way, Brisbane, Queensland” by C. Bennett and M. Norbert, 15th Australasian tunneling Conference 2014.

 

 

 
Tension (Oil pastel on acrylic & canvas paper)

I have used oil pastels on top of acrylics.
The left hand side displays thinner beds than the right. This suggests the sediment supply was greater from the right than the left. In addition, the curvature into the diagonal line (a fault) indicates the left side has moved down in relation to the right. In order to achieve such a configuration the overall stress needed is one of tension.

Tasman Dreaming (Acrylic on canvas paper)

In the 1050’s continental drift was little researched. This artwork depicts one particular “dream” of what the geology was thought to have looked like between New Zealand, Antarctica and Australia in the Devonian.

The painting was inspired by the book “Zealandia”, written by Nick Mortimer and Hamish Campbell and published in 2014 by Penguin Books.

 

 
 

Overthrust (oil pastel on acrylic & canvas paper)

Here I have used oil pastels on top of acrylics. The top yellow folds have been thrust over the green, blue and red beds at the bottom. The overall sense is to feel compression.

 
 

Once Only (Acrylic on canvas)

The Clarence River today has very few large lakes associated with it. Sand, silt and clay has filled in much of the big, old lake that existed 6,000 years ago.
Erosion of the flood plain (green) shows a new pattern.
The reason the Clarence flows northeastwards from Grafton is probably because its passage eastwards is blocked by the remnants of the old Tasman Mountain Range. These remnants can be seen at Brooms Head.
A remnant of the border range volcanic activity remains (red).

 

 

 

The Sea Before Tasman (Acrylic on canvas)

Since the 1950’s continental drift has been universally adopted as a major mechanism in arriving at the current configuration of the continents. A new vision of what New Zealand, Antarctica and Australia looked like in the Devonian has been put forward. The old Gondwana Craton rests in the lower left. An island arc system that produced volcanoes and earthquakes nestles diagonally against the Craton (note the yellow, scythe-shaped glass shards). The blue “tear drops” are fans of sediment caused by tsunamis. The yellow sand grains on the beach pass upwards into fine gained “blue” deep-sea sediment.

 

 
 

Growth (Oil pastel on acrylic & canvas paper)

Since the 1950’s continental drift has been universally adopted as a major mechanism in arriving at the current configuration of the continents. A new vision of what New Zealand, Antarctica and Australia looked like in the Devonian has been put forward. The old Gondwana Craton rests in the lower left. An island arc system that produced volcanoes and earthquakes nestles diagonally against the Craton (note the yellow, scythe-shaped glass shards). The blue “tear drops” are fans of sediment caused by tsunamis. The yellow sand grains on the beach pass upwards into fine gained “blue” deep-sea sediment.

 
 

Present (Acrylic on canvas)

Unlike 6,000 years ago, the Clarence River today has very few large lakes associated with it. Sand, silt and clay has filled in much of the big, old lake.
In future most of the remaining lakes will fill in and the Clarence will empty straight into the sea.
The reason the Clarence flows northeastwards from Grafton is probably because its passage eastwards is blocked by the remnants of the old Tasman Mountain Range. These remnants can be seen at Brooms Head.

 

 

3000 BP (Acrylic on canvas)

Three thousand years ago, the giant lake system had been half filled with sediment and the mouth of the Clarence River had moved from Grafton to just south of Maclean.
Erosion in the Valley over 3,000 years might have revealed a different pattern in the green, sediment areas of the ancient, backward flowing Clarence River. Erosion might also have changed the boundaries of the “purple” coal deposits and exposed more of the fan shaped flows out of the remnant mountain range.

 

 

6000 BP (Acrylic on canvas)

Six thousand years ago, before European man arrived, the Clarence emptied into a giant lake system that stretched from Grafton to just west of Yamba.
Remnants of the old, folded, Tasman Mountain Range can be seen in the bottom right. Immediately left of these are the talus, scree and fan deposits. Left again are the first river channels out of the mountains. The purple areas represent the lagoons full of plant material that went on to form coal. The green represents the muds and clays of the ancient Clarence River flood plain when it flowed backwards or westwards into the central inland sea. The yellowish areas in the green are channels and sand bars.

 

 

The Niger (Fabric paint on calico)

This painting depicts the suture (here represented by a rainbow) between the East and West African Cratons, the Palaeozoic marine invasion, the West African Rift System, the sands of the Sahara and the Niger River.

 

 

Fassifern Conception (Fabric paint on calico)

A one hour drive south of Brisbane, Queensland there rests a sculptured horizon made up of mountain peaks known as the Scenic Rim. These peaks are made from volcanic magma that gave birth to rocks made from “runny” and ‘sticky” magma. The rocks made from magma intrude rocks made from sand, silt and clay. The area painted lies in the Fassifern Valley and depicts a horizontal slice at about half a kilometer deep.

 

 

Prehistoric Sea (Acrylic on canvas) Work in Progress

Some 350 million years ago, much of eastern Australia lay under the sea. There existed a chain of volcanoes, a shallow shelf, deep sea and tsunamis.

 

 

 

 

 

Prehistoric Mountains (Acrylic on canvas) Work in Progress

At about 290 million years ago the Prehistoric Sea was squeezed, folded and lifted up into a mountain range. This Prehistoric Mountain Range contained New Zealand, New Caledonia and the New England area of eastern Australia.

 

 

 

 

Prehistoric Clarence (Acrylic on canvas) Work in Progress

Towards 200 million years ago a very large river had developed with its origins in the Prehistoric Mountain Range. This river flowed westwards into central Australia and contributed tonnes of sediment to the Central Great Australian Basin and inland sea. The Prehistoric Mountains were eroded and their core, consisting of granites, was exposed. The quartz in the granites contributed huge volumes of sand.

 

 

 

 

Condamine Clarence (Acrylic on canvas) Work in Progress

By 60 million years ago the Tasman Sea had begun to form between New Zealand and Australia. This caused the eastern edge of Australia to drop and the once upstream section of the Prehistoric Clarence reversed its flow and headed east into the newly forming Tasman Sea. More of the granites were exposed and the mountain rocks were becoming quite oxidized as they weathered.

 

 

 

 

Tracing the Plume (Acrylic on canvas) Work in Progress

At 17 million years ago Australia had split from New Zealand and Antartica and was moving north at more that 6 centimeters per year. It was also passing over a hot mantle plume that was melting the underside of the continent. This plume was leaving and “icing” of volcanic rocks. By 17 million years it was active under Ebor.

 

 

 

 

Kisege (Fabric paint on calico)

The Kisege River spirals through the East African Rift Valleys on it’s way to meet the White Nile. Separate channels of sand are stacked on top of one another during the wet seasons whilst dark clay seals off each channel during the dry season.

 

Risk (Fabric paint on calico)

Risk depicts the first commercial oil discovery in Australia at Moonie in Queensland. The down hole logs that show the reservoir are superimposed on the thrusted basement rocks.

 
 

Etching the Rim (Limited edition print number 8 of 25)

The orange and yellows show the prehistoric Clarence River flowing westwards.
The mauve florets depict the trace of the mantle plume under eastern Australia.

 

 

 

Kisege (Limited edition print number 9 of 25)

See description of original (above). A more detailed description is available in the book “Art of the Underworld”.

 

The History of Pebbles (Limited edition print number 7 of 25)

Most of us have picked up a pebble when we were very young.
Pebbles are like chapters in a story book, a story book of the earth.

 

Origins in the Fourth Dimension (Limited edition print number 6 of 25)

ORIGINS IN the Fourth Dimension was inspired by the book Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin (published in 2009). Neil Shubin is a professor of anatomy at the University of Chicago and he is also a famous palaeontologist.
As Neil Shubin says: “We would never have scales, feathers or breasts if we didn’t have teeth in the first place”. It is now clear that teeth, scales, hair, feathers and breasts are inextricably linked by history. In this painting, the origins of these five crucial elements of our being are represented in the fourth dimension—time.

 

First Steps (Limited edition print number 14 of 25)

“FIRST STEPS” is painting depicting the past, present and future of the petroleum exploration and production industry. It represents Australia’s first commercial gas at Roma, the first commercial oil at Moonie and the Bowen Basin coal seam gas. Superimposed on the above are the sand grains of the Surat Basin.

 

 

 

 

Rocking in Rhythm (Limited edition print number 7 of 25)

Bluish-purple Pacific oceanic plates plunge beneath the orange, continental, American plate and Vancouver Island.
Pillow lavas are born at yellow and red oceanic spreading centres. Flower like structures represent a chain of volcanoes.

 

 

 

 

Hot Spot Icing (Limited edition print number 13 of 25)

The dark mauve ribbon that runs from top to bottom is the underside trace of the “mantle hot spot” as Australia moved across it. The deep purple and red “flowerets” represent isolated or overlapping volcanic provinces with their associated yellow centres. The red is for “sticky”, viscous magma/lava such as rhyolite and the deep purple is for “runny” magma/lava such as basalt.

The top, small, isolated, volcanic province is Flinders Peak at 26 million years old. The central, overlapping, left to right provinces constitute The Green Cauldron and range in age from 26 to 23 million years with some late stage volcanic activity up to 20 million years. The isolated volcanic province below The Green Cauldron is located at Belmore New South Wales and the bottom most province is at Ebor New South Wales.

Brisbane is located in the top right, Coffs Harbour in the bottom right and Stanthorpe just left of centre on the big red granite “blob”.

 

Trapping Oil (Limited edition print number 4 of 25)

This is a “birdseye” view of oil migrating into a trap.

Green oil droplets migrate through water (deep blue) wet sandstone (orange-brown) that is sealed by pale blue clay “platelets”.