As their youth returns the women play with their hair, frolic and caress each other and are generally being seductive


Over the past seven years I have created twenty aerial paintings inspired by Bondi Beach in Sydney. Most of the scenes depict the north end of Bondi where there are rock pools, rocky outcrops and a park.

The first painting “Ten All” was a real scene, evidently there were a group of blokes who, once a year get together to play table tennis in the rock pool at the north end of the beach. I saw an image of this on google maps all those years ago and it inspired me to free my imagination and allow for the most fanciful stories to be created in paint.

For example the Fountain of Youth series which combines the painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder which I saw and studied in Berlin in 1999 and the rock pool at the end of Bondi Beach. In Cranach’s painting the old women are being wheeled to the pool in carts and on wheelbarrows by men who appear to be much younger. As they slide into the pool and move gingerly towards the fountain they begin to transform. As their youth returns the women play with their hair, frolic and caress each other and are generally being seductive. They come out of the pool and go into the tent to get dressed then join their lovers behind the bushes or for a stroll or a picnic in the park. Update to the 21st century and in my painting the old ladies limp towards the pool, one of them is being wheeled in a chair. As they approach they drop their canes in a pile and are helped into the pool by burley young men. As they regain their youth they cavort and do all sort of gymnastics as they move towards the steps at the other end. One of the young women is with her lover on the ocean side of the pool. But, in the 21st century the women have far more important and adventurous things to do with their youth and they set off into the world.

See more of my Bondi paintings Here.

CRANACH, Lucas the Elder (b. 1472, Kronach, d. 1553, Weimar) The Fountain of Youth

CRANACH, Lucas the Elder
(b. 1472, Kronach, d. 1553, Weimar)
The Fountain of Youth 1546
Lime panel, 122,5 x 186,5 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Stephanie Burns Fountain of Youth Large 2

Stephanie Burns Fountain of Youth Large 2, 2010
Acrylic on canvas
76 x 76 cm
SOLD