Europe meets WA in show

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Art -

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.”

Pic­ture: Marie Nirme d445165

Artist Christo­pher McClel­land pic­tured in his stu­dio with some of his new pieces.

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