Conversation with the Artists & Gallery Tour

Rachel Hannan’s latest landscape exhibition is as extraordinary as it is beautiful.

Titled ‘In My Element’ it is an intimate exploration of her new home in the Capertee Valley. This collection of contemporary landscapes is born from the heart of an artist who finds solace and inspiration in the simplicity of this Australian countryside. There is a quiet reverence to these paintings mirroring the artist’s respect and deep admiration for the beauty that surrounds the Capertee Valley and Blue Mountains.


 The paintings are mostly of Rachel’s new home and capture the quiet beauty of the Capertee Valley, where art becomes a reflection of a life well-lived, embracing the uncomplicated elegance of this remarkable Australian landscape. Rachel is fascinated by the exquisitely delicate flora thriving in the unrelenting elements, the gaping vastness of the valley, and now, distant 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 raw beauty of the valley, contorted trees, of wildflowers and birds that abound. She experiments with different views and colour palettes with a nuanced touch that mirrors the artist’s respect for the ever-changing moods of nature. 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!

“These paintings are mostly views from our new home and nearby in the Capertee Valley. After much deliberation over leaving our well connected lives atop the Blue Mountains, we decided to take the plunge to the valley, with views all around to our beloved blue and orange splashed mountains.

The challenges of off grid living, the need to paint with available light and a whole new change of priorities and focus forced a fresh perspective for these works. Having spent many years perched on the edges of cliff tops and painting what lay below, I now look upwards at the cliffs all around. It took some getting used to but I have absolutely fallen in love with our place and relish the changes each day. 

We arrived last year at the end of a wet spring with the paddocks covered in wildflowers and singing with frogs. Long summer days ended in spectacular glowing sunsets. Autumn grasses and angophoras turned to rust, burnished tips ready for the approaching cold, then the frost’s silvery blanket illuminated the contours of the land on those chilly winter mornings. The heavy white veils swirled and lifted, revealing crisp, clear skies. Now again, the wildflowers raise their bright heads, so welcome they are this Spring”.

The surrounding landscapes, with their unassuming charm, become a canvas for introspection. Through the artist’s eyes, the viewer is invited to appreciate the subtleties of the rugged terrain and the unspoiled simplicity of the countryside. This collection is an ode to the unpretentious beauty found in the Capertee Valley, where the artist’s admiration for a country life harmonises with the rich tapestry of the land.

In this exhibition, the artist’s love for the countryside speaks louder than any grandiosity.