Europe meets WA in show
EUROPEAN romanticism and renaissance art is not something one local artist wants kept in the past.
Heavily influenced by historical art, Chris McClelland has interwoven the traditional style with more contemporary themes in his Bathers Beach Art Precinct Studio for the last 18 months as he prepares for his 11th solo exhibition.
Perugino and the Great Eastern Highway is a collection of 20 pieces, which McClelland said were openended and could be read on a number of levels.
“On one level they are simply an intuitive exploration of beauty and aesthetics, but on a more conscious level the works explore cultural identity (and) blending the whimsical with the atmospheric,” he said.
McClelland, who lives in West Leederville and works at Hale School, said while he and his wife loved travelling to Europe, they always suffered a “cultural identity crisis” back at home.
“We would arrive back in Australia and literally feel like fish out of water,” he said.
“I decided to represent this by juxtaposing symbols of the European tradition with representations of Western Australia: space, vast skies and oceans and endless highways cutting through dry flat scrubland.
“I think this exhibition is some of the best work I have done and hopefully people will find the way I have worked with the theme interesting.
“I have tried to develop a visual feast in each work and create paintings that hold the viewer’s attention.”
Artist Christopher McClelland pictured in his studio with some of his new pieces.