There is a touch of the sublime in this. Scraggly pines, firs and oaks fade slowly out of a misty winter field. You can almost feel the moisture in the air of the paintings. As you gaze at these large, green works, you feel a sense of serenity coming over you. You feel as though you are stepping back from yourself. You feel as though that internal monologue that seems so all-pervasive is no longer quite so important or pressing. You rise above it. You rise above your thoughts, and you just gaze at the misty morning. You leave feeling uplifted and calm. If art can be said to be a religion, then these paintings are surely a sacred text.
Image appears courtesy of Flinders Lane Gallery website
Winter Landscapes by Kathryn Ryan is showing now at Flinders Lane Gallery. The exhibition runs until the 6th of August. Finders Lane Gallery is located at 137 Flinders Lane, Melbourne. The gallery is open Tuesday to Friday from 11 am until 6 pm, and on Saturdays from 11 am until 4 pm.
The paintings are like a meticulous study of British trees. The trees take prominence in nearly every work, and their individual shapes and eccentric bent branches are lovingly described. The repetition of this theme gives a meditative quality to the exhibition. There is also a kind of stubbornness in the artist's continued focus on these landscapes. Normally landscape paintings depict vast, wild, rugged scenes. The artist has instead chosen to focus on cultivated land. This brings an intimacy to the works, a kind of smallness which somehow opens out into an infinite bigness within you.
Kathryn Ryan's works are held in many major collections. She has also been shortlisted for several important art prizes, such as the Wynne Prize and the Alice Prize. Her full biography can be read on the Flinders Lane Gallery website, and all the works on display in Winter Landscapes can be viewed here.
This exhibition isn't on for much longer, but it's well worth a visit.