16 August – 6 October 2018

‘Solitude’ – Jan McNeill – Oil paintings

‘Fleet of foot’ – Liz McLennan – Watercolours

 

To lift your spirits – don a winter coat or a fantasy costume!

Confronted every day with news of global tragedy, trauma, hatred and horror, it is reassuring and inspiring to contemplate the beauty of nature and the power of the human spirit.

Two artists at Falkner Gallery do just that but in quite different ways.

Jan McNeill’s exhibition ‘Solitude’ is a series of realist seascapes and landscapes that depict rugged, rocky cliffs and mountains, wild, stormy seas and dramatic, moody skies. Her powerful oil painting technique coupled with the intense, brooding colours are reminiscent of the breathtaking compositions of 19th Century German Romantic painters such as Caspar Friedrich.

Jan’s compositions are sometimes populated by a sole spectator perched high on a cliff top or swept along the beach by a fierce wind. Such visions transport the viewer into another world, offering a feeling of awe, an acknowledgement of the power and beauty of nature. They encourage the viewer to reflect and find peace and solitude, thus lifting the spirit.

In a different way, so too do the whimsical, theatrical watercolours by Liz McLennan in her exhibition upstairs entitled ‘Fleet of Foot’.

Liz has studied the habits and behaviours of Central Victorian birds. She describes their “extraordinary songs, graceful and unique flight patterns, faultless markings and colours…” which she ascribes to humans dressed in fanciful costumes, much like actors of the Italian ‘Commedia dell’ arte’ of the 16th -18th Centuries. 

She continues: ”Circus, music and theatre imagery express human attempts at emulating flight with impossible balance and daring.” [McLennan] In her compositions, masked, costumed figures dance, perform, fly and parade, mimicking the antics of local birds. Her paintings are magical illustrations of humans in their own world, far removed from reality. Theirs is the world of theatre, music, literature and the circus.

The viewer is similarly encouraged to ignore everyday reality and rejoice in the magic of the imagination.  

Both exhibitions commence 16 August and continue until 6 October.

Liz will be present Saturday 18 August 2-4pm

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11 October – 24 December 2018

‘Folds and Feathers’- David Golightly, Lee Shelden and Sally Roadknight – Pencil Drawings

‘Christmas Collection 2018’ – 30+ artists – Works on paper

The pencil is a simple tool that can make a variety of marks – in the hands of a child, it can produce a spontaneous scribble or an imaginative drawing; in the hands of an artist, it can produce strong and decisive gestures, soft and sensitive renderings and realistic or abstract marks.

The next exhibition at Falkner Gallery ‘Folds and Feathers’ displays a range of expressive mark-making by three local artists – David Golightly, Lee Shelden and Sally Roadknight.

Black and coloured pencil is their chosen medium and their subject matter is also somewhat similar – fabrics, ribbons, rags, feathers, towels, Yet each has used the pencil to create quite a different effect.

David Golightly writes of his series: ”These drawings follow a long academic tradition of drawing drapery, a necessary requirement for art training along with the requisite rendering of anatomical details initially drawn from plaster casts then life drawing. Artists were expected to demonstrate rigorous observation of nature.” [Golightly]

David’s meditative drawings are powerful tonal renderings of simple everyday fabrics. They are bold, structured tonal renderings of drapery -folded, draped, stacked; some ordered, some askew.

Lee Shelden’s coloured pencil drawings are primarily about intimacy, focusing on small, simple everyday things. Rolls of ribbon, folds and swirls of satin are flooded with light. She writes: “The drawings are primarily about intimacy, focusing on small, simple everyday things. Drama and mystery can be found in the way the light changes the folds in a piece of fabric, or warmth remains in a tattered moth’s wing.” [Shelden]

Her light-filled drawings are subtle, fragile and mysterious. Lee’s interest in drawing fabrics began with her tertiary studies in Fashion Design at RMIT. Later studies in visual arts at Gippsland Institute allowed her to continue her passion for the varying textures, weights and colours of fabric rendered in coloured pencil.

With reference to her drawings of feathers, Sally Roadknight writes: By peeling back layers and simplifying images I am trying to discover clues that will help me understand the landscape surrounding me…. I have focused on drawing one aspect of the landscape, namely feathers, concentrating on expressing the qualities of strength and delicacy and by so doing increase my understanding, perception and powers of observation.” [Roadknight] Her feathers float and curl across the compositions with subtlety and fragility.

The ‘Folds and Feathers’ drawings by these three artists are a beautiful exploration of the power of the pencil to produce a range of expressions including frailty and fragility as well as academic structure.

Also commencing 11 October is the 2018 Christmas Collection, the annual exhibition of 30+ artists’ small, affordable works on paper.

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Hours: Wed 1-5, Thurs – Sat 11-5, Sunday by appointment.