Like all his works, this painting shows no evidence of human habitation - we might be observing a primeval scene where humans have yet to evolve. In pining for a lost world, Wood evokes a kind of pre-loved world - a transitional state in which a new cosmology is being formed. The rawness of Tasmania is the ideal setting for Wood - as it has been for Wolfhagen, Burton and many others; it provides as Wood says, ‘a culmination of everything I am seeking in the land.’ Spooky Hill exudes a cleansed purity where natural represents a glorious divinity, and where humankind - absent here - comes to symbolise degradation. In its reductive minimalism, Spooky Hill invokes the void of Friedrich’s Monk, and also of Mark Rothko’s later canvases.
Explore more about Sophia Szilagyi, who also features in the book - New Romantics, Darkness and Light in Australian Art by Simon Gregg.