Wild paintings help artist heal
Following the birth of her first child and news of her second, Alana Clumeck turned to painting to ease the symptoms of prenatal depression while living away from her family.
The Margaret River-born artist now lives with her husband and children in the Santa Ynez Valley of California’s Santa Barbara County.
Her new exhibition, Wallflower, is on display at a boutique clothing store in Los Olivos, not far from her new home, and is a collection of work that channels the process that helped her overcome prenatal depression.
“From somewhere deep within, I had an overbearing desire to be creative,” she said.
“I purchased some art supplies, and once I started, I couldn’t stop.
“It became my therapy, and I’d lose myself in my paintings for hours on end.”
Clumeck’s artworks are a fusion of her upbringing in country WA and her new life in California.
Wallflower is a play on words of the old Australian slang phrase, referring to her paintings as having a lot more depth and meaning beyond the paint.
Her work feature golden hills, spring flowers and fierce, bold animals that Clumeck said remind her of Margaret River, but also resonate as a symbol of her struggle with mental health.
“Having grown up in rural WA, wildlife, nature and the outdoors bring a certain amount of nostalgia to me,” she said.
“Symbolically, I resonate best when painting a horse kicking and bucking, or running powerfully wild and free.
“I feel a parallel between us as mothers having to conform or be a certain role in life, just as horses are trained in certain disciplines, but inwardly we have these wild, crazy dreams that are just waiting to run free.”
Clumeck’s younger brother is professional surfer Yadin Nicol, and she said their childhood adventures on the coast also shaped her art.
“I guess you could consider it a ‘free range’ upbringing of sorts,” she said.
“We were grubby, adventurous kids, who roamed the bush and spent minimal time indoors.”
Clumeck’s art will be on display in Los Olivos until the end of the year, but for everyone in Australia, her work can be seen at alanaclumeck.com.
Artist Alana Clumeck draws inspiration from wildlife and animals. Wallpaper is on show in a Californian boutique clothing store.