'Fleeting Wonders is in response to time spent in various areas of Australia and South Island, New Zealand.
En plein air painting adventures during winter and spring in the Snowy Mountains and Jindabyne region resulted in a new appreciation of the ephemeral offerings of each season. The wilderness became a garden in late winter and spring. Capturing this gift of beauty in the passing window of time resulted in several works celebrating the joyful exuberance of the Australian bush in bloom. Flowers in extravagance greet my eye, wattle in brilliant yellows and pastel creams nod in happy abandon. Gum flowers in electric reds and pinks drip nectar and the Gymea lily stately and tall is crowned in a punctuation mark of crimson. The light caresses the land and highlights humble clumps of grass or scrub into something that stops the eyes. I’ve suddenly awoken to the flashes of colour and fragrance on the wind.
As ice melts and winter slowly ends, new pools dot the landscape like temporal mirrors. Springy moss, lichen on stone and the new growth of scrub exposed after the snow set off the last ice in the scape. Streams and rivers rush by, sun shimmers on water.
Expectation of the new captures my breath as beauty heralds the changing season. These paintings are a remembrance of these promises given. Winter ends. I am reminded to be in this moment and partake of all the beauty now on offer, these fleeting wonders.'
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).