At first glance, it can be difficult to try and pin down when the paintings of Megan Ellen MacDonald may have been created-with their intensely rich colour palettes, smoky landscapes, fantastic elements, and a delicate painterly touch- these paintings feel like they belong to the era of Caspar David Friedrich and the romantic painters of the 1800’s. But that initial impression is countered by the subject which belies the contemporary sensibility of the artist: cats, unicorns and Victorian porcelain tchotchkes dominate the focus. The blending of historical and modern in the paintings of Megan Ellen MacDonald creates an ambiguous world where fantasy and realism intersect.
When reading the tag next to an artwork at a gallery, the traditional mediums are typically listed: oils, watercolours, acrylic, pencil, and the catch all, “mixed media”. “Tape”, is not something you would expect to see. In Emanuel Pavao’s urban landscape art, tape is exactly what these realist artworks are composed of. Frustrated with traditional materials, Emanuel started to use this utilitarian household material, with its surprising array of colours and textures, to create realistic portrayals of the urban fabric.
Looking at the work of Jesús Perea, one might assume that the artist producing these limited edition prints would be of the ink-stained hand variety, creating textural, tonal prints in a traditional print making studio. These prints of Jesús, are in fact, wholly digital creations where the artists has mixed scans of different textures, papers, stains etc., and manipulated those elements into elegant abstract compositions before printing.
Elena Willis is a photographer whose large-scale works immerse the viewer in dream-like settings that feel pulled from our subconscious mind. She orchestrates actors, manufactures props, and engineers the landscape to create photographs free from photoshop or digital manipulation. The resulting photographs with their hits of high intensity colour draw the eye and encourage an interpretation of the mis en scene, but her open-ended narratives defy easy explanation.