On Now
Coming Soon
Past Display
Plein Air Artists
Mar 4, 2023
May 21, 2023
permanent exhibition
Following on from the return of the Gippsland Art Gallery Summer School at Lake Glenmaggie in January 2023, this autumn the Gallery presents an exhibition of plein air painting by the camp's tutors.

This exhibition is a celebration of the outdoor painting tradition by two artists who continue to walk within the footsteps of artists from centuries past, most famously those of the Australian Impressionists of the late nineteenth century.

Robert Maclaurin and Kynan Sutherland prove that the plein air painting tradition is as vital as ever through works that capture the essence of the outdoors.

The paintings brought together here are the happy product of excursions into nature conducted over the last four years, and show the benefits of being connected to the natural world.

‘Plein air painting enjoys renewed significance at a time when many people feel disconnected from the natural world’, the artists write. ‘Working outside restores a sense of connection to the landscape and encourages viewers to experience the same quality of immersion’.

Accompanying the exhibition are documentary photographs and a short film by Sean Benedict McKenna of the artists working in the field, showing the range of materials and techniques, as well as the vitality and adventure of plein air painting.

Individually, Robert and Kynan have long histories of solo exhibitions, prizes, collections and publications. They have exhibited in Australia and overseas to critical acclaim. Deeply aware of the plein air tradition, they seek to show just how radical and challenging plein air painting is in the twenty-first century.

Robert has a long history of working en plein air in Scotland and Australia. His smaller works are fully realised pictures in their own right but go on to inspire larger studio works as well. Robert looks to absorb the local landscape and express a deeply personal vision of the bush.

Kynan’s work is a meditation on the local landscape. His paintings respond to the shifting light, colour, temperature and feeling of the natural world. Kynan is always looking to reveal the poetic possibilities of place, and his distilled paintings remain quiet, reflective and enduring.

Coinciding with Robert and Kynan’s exhibition in Gallery 3 will be an exhibition of plein air painting by the students of the 2023 Summer School, created in January under the tutelage of Robert and Kynan on the shores of Lake Glenmaggie. Displayed in the Community Access Space on Level 2, the combined works by these students show to vitality of plein air painting and the depth of talent within our community.

Our thanks go to Robert and Kynan for leading’s this year’s Summer School, and to each of the art students who have made it such a success!

Selected Artworks
By the Wonnangatta River
Oil on cedar wood panel
50 x 18cm
Courtesy the artist.
The artist.
Goldfields Waterhole
Oil on cedar panel.
18 x 50cm
Courtesy the artist.
The artist.
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