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