Simon Gunning - Springtime at the Saline

Simon Gunning

In recent years Simon Gunning was given unrestricted access to Avery Island in southwest Louisiana to experience and to record its natural beauty. Avery Island covers 2,200 acres of natural landscape, but it was “The Saline” in the southeast corner of the Island that caught the artist’s imagination.  “The Saline” is a small swamp with water feeding in through natural ravines and is a remarkable rookery for thousands of migratory birds. Gunning found “The Saline” both “lyrical and dangerous,” but he strove to “paint the sensation of being there at dawn in spring with the soft damp air gently moving across the surface of the water.”  He also wanted, “to convey the lurid arrangement between the alligators and the egrets which nest in trees just above the dark and brooding waters.” The artist feels even in the ideal natural arena of “The Saline” he was witness to “an uncompromising struggle of life and death.”