Opening Conversation

Gallery Tour

Rachel’s landscapes feature her favourite places that have been transformed after the fires and rains, painted in her thick, energetic impasto style that mimics the wild, windy precipices within a few kilometres of her home.”Painting these rhythmic forms and dancing foliage is endlessly fascinating to me “

“I have a connection to the landscape indescribable in words, but that I touch on through paint: the space between the stillness and the tearing winds; the ever changing relationship between forms and dancing light; the gap between what you see and what is actually there; the music of the colours that have no sound, the rhythm and energy of the elements that can’t be stopped, won’t be harnessed, can’t be known. The landscape is passion, unpredictability, life, birth, sex, death; dangerous and harsh, yet comforting in its realness. It leaves me with the wonder of how to exist in such vast unkempt beauty.

I move through the landscape with reverence and respect. It is never the same, every moment perfect and fleeting, impossible to portray but exciting to try.

​Being in the landscape is like being in love. I am drawn to its power, glory and terror, in the hope that I can hold it forever, but it won’t be captured. It’s a wild thing. This is what I try to recreate in my paintings; the exhilaration of uncertainty and surprise, the freedom of the unknown.”  (Rachel Hannan)

I recently had the opportunity to visit Rachel’s home and studio and what an absolute treat! It was wonderful to encounter Rachel’s full creative potential released all around me. The home is resplendent with colourful paintings – both permanent features and temporary, assignments for galleries and individuals. I have included here a photograph of the magnificent hand-painted bedroom doors, and kitchen with Blue Mountains painted splash-back. What a joy to behold.

On the edge of cliffs, surrounding her home in the Blue Mountains, Rachel is fascinated by the exquisitely delicate flora thriving in the unrelenting elements, juxtaposed with the giant, gaping vastness of the valleys and rising mountains. Her paintings are heavily focused on cloud formations and spectacular sunsets, wilderness, concepts of the sublime, and the study of light, movement and colour, successfully capturing the effect of boundlessness.

In Rachel’s paintings, the beholder’s experience of awe is generated by a sense of vastness signalled by the show-stealing Blue Mountains, contorted trees, the beauty of wildflowers and birds that abound. She experiments with different views, colour palettes, and perspectives to produce a comprehensive look at the mountain and its surrounding landscape.

Words can’t describe these stunning paintings. As evident in these contemporary landscape paintings, Rachel has taken her cues from an ancient past to create contemporary landscape art that is inspired and energetic, highly original and stunningly beautiful!

Rachel’s poetic elucidation for this exhibition:

These dramatic cliff tops are regular spots I visit, transformed year round by the intense weather; bushfires, winds, driving rain, enveloping mists and scorching sun. I stretch over the edge, each time reminded of my fragile existence. When I paint these arresting places, my minuscule existence amidst nature’s evident power is invigorating. I make the work in one sitting, trying to convey fleeting moments and sensations on the precipice.

The flora tells a story of the elements and survival. I love the movement and resilience of these plants; spiky, tough and exquisite, their muted tones punctuated by delicate, striking blooms. I paint quickly and energetically trying to portray the frenzy of this intoxicating wilderness.

The rocks bare ancient marks of history, carved by the elements and by humankind. The colours and abstracted shapes that continually evolve hold stories we can only dream about. The power of wind and water is physically evident on the landscape even on the quietest of days. Painting these rhythmic forms and dancing foliage is endlessly fascinating to me”.