Bursting forth with colour, movement and energy – Rachel Hannans’ paintings are a welcome and exciting addition to the KAB Gallery collection.
Holding a Fine Arts Degree from Newcastle University with High Distinctions in Painting, Rachel has explored her creativity through music, beginning her successful career as a jazz vocalist and recording artist, teaching vocals since 1996. She transitioned into creating one-off pieces before returning to the studio in 2018 with a renewed freedom and passion for painting.
With many exhibitions under her belt she has come highly commended as a finalist in many Australian art prizes including the “Little Things Art Prize, 2017” Finalist at Saint Cloche Gallery, Paddington, NSW and winning the Directors Choice award at the 2017: Blue Mountains Cultural Centre – “Summer Exposure” in Springwood, NSW.
With ten paintings arriving to the gallery last week, the team has already seen two pieces snapped up by avid collectors. The landscape forms that Hannan creates are visually vibrant while simultaneously evoking a sense of calm and wonder.
Growing up around the natural beauty of Newcastle (NSW), and raising her little one in the Blue Mountains she found herself mesmerized by nature, finding inspiration around every bend while exploring – walking, running, canoeing, biking and driving. “I love vastness and intimacy, dramatic cliffs and simplistic plains – wherever exists an energy, some rhythm, a breeze, a storm, some inviting movement. The interplay of active skies and static forms, and the surfaces that dance in between create a tension that I like to draw out. I try to bring the elation and ecstasy that I feel in the landscape back to my studio, reliving and forming it into a painting with loose painterly strokes and layers.”
It’s perhaps this energy that art lovers connect with, and judges recognize – the unmistakable passion for the wild, natural world.
In her own words, Rachel explains “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.”
“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.”
View the current exhibition in person or virtually via our online gallery, you will not be disappointed and you may even find yourself immersed in colour and wanting to bring some of that passion to your own walls.