Artists capture wild beauty of Mountains land and people

Joint venture: Artists Anne Crestani (left) and Rachel Hannan.  Hannan depicts raw, windswept escarpments and valleys and Crestani explores the forms and moods created in the magical moments as day transitions into night.
Joint venture: Artists Anne Crestani (left) and Rachel Hannan. Hannan depicts raw, windswept escarpments and valleys and Crestani explores the forms and moods created in the magical moments as day transitions into night.

Two artists who are also friends, colleagues and jazz singers have combined their talents in an exhibition that captures the wild beauty and poignancy of the Blue Mountains and its people.

Rachel Hannan depicts raw, windswept escarpments and valleys in her landscapes and Anne Crestani is a figurative painter who explores the forms and moods created in the magical moments as day transitions into night.

Hannan finds solace and inspiration in the rugged natural landscapes of the Upper Mountains.

“My work is a celebration of the inevitable ups and downs of life, the challenge of finding the sunshine through the mist. It is a search for an evasive beam, a rhythmic shimmer, a translucent haze – the fleeting exquisiteness of light in its dramatic dance with darkness, teasing the shadows into battle,” she said.

“Painting is a necessary refueling while raising four children, an opportunity to reflect and to celebrate the beauty and preciousness of the people and places that continually inspire and astound me.”

For Crestani, painting captures the fragments of memories and images that make up her “art-memory mind”. Her most recent works express her burgeoning interest in the evocative Mountains landscapes.

“I am exploring landscape as a means of reliving the thrill I remember as a girl when I watched the transformative cycles of sunrise and sunset,” she said. “It was a time when the natural world seems to hold its breath.

“This magical daily event barely registers in our busy lives but, as children, we are often more attuned as the world turns on its axis. Those early experiences are often embedded forever quietly within the heart, mind and body.”

The women work together as family therapists and are both jazz singers. This is their first artistic collaboration.

“We are thrilled and excited to be showing together,” said Hannan. “We share a drive to make art because we are both inspired by the transcendent power of our Mountains home. This show captures our combined vision.”

The exhibition Perlucere, from the Latin word perluceo (to shine through, to be made transparent) is at the Virgin Walls Gallery, Great Western Highway, Blackheath, from June 3-5.