BRAZEN | Rachel Hannan

Helen Day | 19-Oct-2018
Please join us for the opening of Brazen by Rachel Hannan: Saturday 3rd Nov | 2 "“ 4 pm. In this new body of work Hannan has been less attached to details and more interested in portraying the sense of a place, combined with memories and experiences Hannan has had by the time she lands in the studio. Some works have been made en plein air in Hannan's garden and nearby. Hannan's approach is loose and intuitive, energetic and vibrant. Juxtaposed with the assertive strokes and thick impasto are smaller more intimate areas and translucent layers where one can explore and rest in the more meditative sections of the works.
Venue: Day Gallery
Address: 27-29 Govetts Leap Rd Blackheath
Date: 3 - 25 Noc
Time: Opening Sat 3 Nov. 2-4 pm
Web: http://dayfineart.com/exhibitions/rachel-hannan-brazen/
: https://www.facebook.com/events/1166404466846277/
Surprise View Narrow Neck. Rachel Hannan. Oil on canvas
Hannan grew up in Newcastle, went to art school there and sang in various bands, but always felt somehow out of place within the beach culture. In 1994 pregnant with their first child, she and her then partner went to the Blue Mtns on a whim. "The images I had of Katoomba were the old photos my dad had taken of my young pregnant mother on their honeymoon, elegantly poised above the waterfalls and views. When I stepped out of my old VW Bug on Main St Katoomba, I felt like I'd finally come home". Hannan had no support or connections as a young mother in the mountains but the intriguing and dramatic landscape, snaked through with walking tracks held solace for her. It reminded her of her childhood riding horses alone in the untouched bush, where she could dream and escape the noise and hustle of people and social expectations. "I loved the colours and forms of the rocks, the danger of the sudden deep chasms and unexpected shafts of light, the smell of the air, the songs of the vibrant birds and pockets of quiet stillness, the feel of the dry hot heath, the cool damp rainforests and the scratchy crackly bush. It was music to her soul and she never wanted to leave. Whilst Hannan missed the ocean she was mesmerised and inspired by the undulating blue canyons, "where the shadows of clouds and mists danced rhythmically across the surface".

Locals would know Hannan best as a renowned jazz vocalist and vocal coach, and she has maintained her visual arts career as a painter, ceramicist, jewellery and wearable art maker. Hannan has her solo show with Day Gallery Blackheath opening on Nov 3.

She was selected as a finalist in the Calleen Art Award at Cowra Regional Gallery this year, the Fishers Ghost Award at Campbelltown Arts Centre and the Kangaroo Valley Art Prize, following two successful shows at Braemar Gallery and Virgin Walls in 2017 and 2016.

"In this new body of work I have been less attached to details and more interested in portraying the sense of a place, combined with memories and experiences I have had by the time I land in the studio".

Some of the works have also been done en plein air. Hannan is acutely affected by the relationships in her life, music, conversations, the weather, her fluctuating moods and the chaos that is often around her as three of her four children still live with her or nearby. Hannan has recently become a grandmother, which has made her reflect on her role as a parent and grandparent. It has brought back memories of herself and her children when they were small including the sense of isolation she felt as a young parent in a new community and landscape with no friends or family around her.

This has a bittersweetness about it for her as there is a freedom that comes with being in a new place where you can reinvent yourself and this recollection has helped her to take a new direction in her work, one which is looser and more impulsive, vibrant and energetic. Juxtaposed with the assertive strokes and thick impasto are smaller more intimate areas and translucent layers where one can explore and rest in the more meditative sections of the works.

The works in Brazen have all been inspired by travels nearby, Hannan's own garden and west of the Blue Mountains. They have been created this year and the colours and execution of the paintings reflect her passion and attachment to this extraordinary place in all of its seasons and times of day. This land can be bold and brash, and one must be brave in attempting to capture its extremes and often untouched beauty".

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