Intimate knowledge of colour frames the foundation for Carla Hananiah’s balancing act between nature and artifice. Her paintings depict vast stretches of New Zealand and Australian mountain and sky most often at the “magic hour” – at dawn or dusk when unreal and powerful, dramatic slanting sunlight moves fleetingly across the landscape, creating tonalities and hues to dazzle the eye.
In the studio she returns to field notes and sketches and, in an almost diaristic fashion, responds to the land and sky in paint. The tension she sets up between the self and the impersonal grounds her work: her use of heightened, complementary colour and shimmering fluorescent paint underscores inquiry into consideration of the environment and our place within it as well as our present moment’s complex relationship to “Nature”.
“When I arrive into the landscape, it’s almost as if I’ve let go of a breath I’ve been holding for a long time,” she says. “I am a Romantic, and I paint to capture the essence of the sublime expressed through natural beauty”.
Carla holds a Masters of Fine Arts through Research, a Master of Art and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of New South Wales. She has exhibited throughout Australia and is the recipient of multiple prizes including Mosman Art Prize Viewers’ Choice Award (2012), the Blake Prize Society’s John Coburn Emerging Artist Award (2011), the Hornsby Art Prize (2011) and the Winsor & Newton Start Your Studio Scholarship (2009).