July 2021 Non Fiction Shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

Womerah Lane: Lives and Landscapes Tom Carment

Paperback | Nov 2019 | Giramondo Publishing | 9781925818215 | 272pp | 235x170mm | GEN | AUD$39.95, NZD$47.99

Carment is one of Australia's best-known plein air artists. It is his distinctive mark as a writer that he writes as he paints – from life – capturing the likeness of a particular place in time, remaining faithful to the moment when he sees something striking or strange. And just as his paintings and drawings are small, limited by what he can carry with him on his travels, so in his writing he is a miniaturist working on a large scale: the tone of his writing matches the style of his brushwork. Free-flowing yet nuanced, it evokes the places he visits and the people and objects he encounters, friends and strangers, the homeless and the famous – farms, beaches, cottages, building sites, even typewriters and eggs and telegraph poles – each has its story.

In this richly illustrated collection of Tom Carment's essays about people and landscapes has been thirty years in the making. It covers the period that he has lived in Womerah Lane in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst, while travelling the country as a plein air artist. Womerah Lane is composed of written pieces set in every state of mainland Australia, accompanied by paintings and drawings made in those places.

'Tom Carment's writing, like his art, seduces quietly: austere, highly articulate, always fresh, with a dry sense of the absurd. In this calm, modest register he commands great territories.' — Helen Garner

'Tom Carment's Womerah Lane is a lively and pensive personal history, chronicling 30 years of life and art from one of Australia's most well-known landscape artists…Womerah Lane is a rich study of contrasts, likely to appeal to readers with an appetite for Australian biography, the arcane of the everyday and the many (sensory) pleasures of landscape artwork.' — Nathan Smith, Books+Publishing

'In these gentle paintings, drawings and stories drawn from three decades as a peripatetic plein air painter based in Darlinghurst, Tom Carment evidences the lightest touch and the keenest intelligence. An intelligence, it must be said, whose secret lies in an eye-head-hand co-ordination which borders on the mystical. Yet Carment's writing is as aquarelle, as calligraphic, as deceptively simple, as his art.' — The West Australian