Aaron Kinnane engages with painting in its purest form to perpetuate his effervescent vision of the natural world. The paintings in ‘From Where I Stand’ represent a meditative respite from life, a fissure in reality. In the works, an omniscient light travels through the landscape, weaving us in and out of the terrain like a sweeping eagle.

 

Visceral strokes of hand-mixed hues – midnight indigo, stormy purple, arctic blue, icy grey and moss greens – pulsate with energy, as if the oil membrane can barely contain the life force buzzing beneath its leathery surface.

 

‘Each stroke is a force of life; a breath in the landscape’ says the artist. For Kinnane, the natural world is never still, never static; its hear t beats along with our own. ‘No one place is ever still’ he reflects, ‘sometimes quiet, but never still’. He responds to this vitality by effacing and rebuilding his forms, deconstructing planes, pushing horizons and morphing shapes. Bruised and scarred topographies exude feelings of isolation, yet it is a contented solitude that speaks not of despair but of hope. These paradoxical moments conjure an energy that is at once wildly emotional and quietly cathartic, and this is the singular power of Kinnane’s paintings – their capacity to invoke,

simultaneously, a spectrum of emotions.

 

‘From Where I Stand’ is a poetic meditation on the land and sea, referencing the landscape around Bulahdelah on the North Coast where Kinnane recently relocated. Passionate, wintry folds of oil conjure turbulent seas, stark snowfields, rugged peninsulas and leaf y wilderness – atmospheric landscapes that elude demarcation. Using his palette knife as a material extension of his psyche, Kinnane reconstructs impressions from his subconscious in a dance of raw intuition and analytical precision. His images appear as haz y memories, revenant visions lingering in the liminal space between form and formlessness. This symbiosis of imagination and recollection blurs the edges

of reality, as Kinnane reflects, ‘In memor y, a tree does not have to be a tree; the land does not need to be green’.

 

Guided by colour, movement, suggestions and smears, our brains fill in the gaps: ‘our minds and souls resonate and connect with the rhythm, the movement, the undulations, nuances, and deciphers the code’. We supply our own end-piece to the puzzle and, in doing so, gently glide beyond an aesthetic appreciation of the works into metaphysical meditations on our own remembered landscapes.

 

For the first time, Kinnane has created hand carved wood sculptures, crafted en plein air with tree trunks from a disused plantation forest on his property. Considering the works as a collaboration with the previous owner and the Chinese Empress trees he planted, Kinnane contemplates the poetry of reimagining a man’s failed dream. He carves, chisels and chars the trunks, waiting for new life to bloom from the ashes of the past. This emblematic cycle of life is but tressed by the fact that Chinese Empress grow to full maturity in just fifteen years and will regrow once lopped, becoming a sustainable lifetime resource for the artist. As totemic synecdoches for the plantation, the sculptures traverse the gap between real and represented landscapes, physicalising the sentiments evoked in

the paintings.

 

Aaron Kinnane completed a BAVA at Newcastle University in 1998 and he was an assistant to artist Sandro Chia in Italy from 2000-01. He was a finalist in the 2015 Wynne Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Tattersall’s Landscape Ar t Prize (2016, 2015, 2014) and NSW Parliament Pleinair Prize (2016). The ar tist shows his work regularly in solo and group exhibitions in Australia and internationally, and his works are held in several notable public collections.

Copyright Aaron Kinnane 1977 - 2017

 

A A R O N  K I N N A N E