Graham McKenzie - 'Coastlines'
Wednesday 4 - Sunday 29 July 2018
In his latest exhibition, Coastlines, Graham McKenzie continues to explore and extend his ideas and understanding of landscape painting.
Over time, he has continually questioned ‘what is beauty?’ and the many different expectations found in Western cultures. Rarely is beauty expressed as an experience that is felt. McKenzie, however, seeks to engage the viewer of his paintings in a direct experience. He provides an expressive response to the natural elements from each location. The work challenges the viewer as to their personal understandings of nature and encourages them to dig deeper into their experience.
Throughout this exhibition, each painting is structured around compositional elements, linking them to a particular location but without looking to be simply copies of the seascape. Light and colour are used dramatically to heighten the initial attraction that the artist experienced. These are not constructed paintings that rely on form, balance and harmony, as is so often deemed essential in landscape ideals. Rather, they appear as spontaneous views that were just happened upon as McKenzie travelled through the landscape. They are not paintings intended to dictate how to look or what to see, but were instead created in the hope that the viewer will use their senses (smell, touch and hearing) as reminders of associated experiences as they next explore their own landscapes.