McLean is returning to Brisbane to showcase her first solo exhibition in 13 years and is embracing technology with her return, curating two ‘choose your own adventure’ style Spotify playlists to set the viewer’s mood as they tour her 21 abstract artworks at the exhibition. Each playlist evokes different feelings and a different way of viewing her work. Crediting her exposure to Brisbane’s community of artists, musicians, filmmakers and photographers in the 1970s and 80s, McLean is celebrating her role as an independent artist with a 30-year career – funding her own work and exhibition, and creating her own commercial opportunities.
McLean says when she paints, she is on a “frequency”. “It’s a strangely conscious space where art comes from,” said McLean. “I trust it and I don’t over think it.I often start from a feeling, a memory or a message and explore colour and texture through my knowledge and craft.” She enters her studio with the recollection of a season, or something she saw, and translates the sensory and emotional layers of it. “There are often at least three layers of oil paint,” she continues. “I work on up to four paintings at a time. Some take a few hours and others take months to resolve. The simplicity of the work is the evidence of the work that goes into it.”
Antidote is a collection of visually rich oil paintings for moments of reflection. McLean describes the exhibition as “framing a moody storm on the horizon or the bright contrast of a sun-drenched open space”. Each canvas is intended to transport the viewer, offering a chance to take a breath and re-calibrate.Through a process of centred, meditative free-form expression, and careful detailed practice, the recall of sensory experiences, combined with intuitive colour, design and texture choices, McLean creates unique pieces, each with its own story. Here are the clear waters, the crisp morning walks, the warmth of home and the rich colours of life’s adventures.
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