The Rose The Bullet The Window came as a response to a recent trip to Europe. While it evolved from a marriage of the many influences from that journey it also allowed me to unite these with a defiantly beautiful burl (The Rose) that had lain for 10 years untouched in my studio. I discovered this burl lying beneath a 400-year-old River Red Gum on a farm in Moyston in the shadows of the Grampians. The manner in which it could be utilised sculpturally had previously been unclear; however, the burl would now act as a lInkage from my past to the new and compelling experiences of my recent travels. Just as I had been seduced by the burl's exquisite beauty and detail, I discovered a new way to interpret the art works of Europe, not to view them in their entirety but to gain a more personal access by an exploration of their surface detail and material aspects. Further, the painting, sculpture and architecture were no longer the only catalyst for inspiration. Now the nuance of surfaces, the colour of glaze on a Renaissance plate, the riveting of armour, the windows of medieval fortifications, and the frame of a fourteenth-century annunciation triptych were my new fixation. My challenge became to unite these diverse resonances into a cohesive sculptural presence.
Geoffrey Bartlett, November 2002
from the catalogue of the National Sculpture Prize and Exhibition 2003, National Gallery of Australia