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Filling Up with Darkness Stars: Neil McClelland

Sun. February 13th 2022 - Sun. March 6th 2022
Filling Up with Darkness Stars
oil on canvas
66” x 57”

Through expressive mark making, narrative, and symbol, I seek in my work to bring a sense of wonder, mystery, and unease to explorations of place, memory, home, belonging, transformation, transition, and human relationships to nature. I engage with the material qualities and possibilities of paint to convey a visceral, unmoored, and indeterminate sense of place and time and to suggest what is simultaneously familiar but strange. The work brings together fragments of my memories and visual experiences to create collisions of the everyday with the sublime, uncanny, cosmic, or unusual. “Filling up with Darkness Stars” is from a series of paintings that engage my childhood home as a site of natural and even supernatural transformation.

The places, spaces, and landscapes that I work with in my paintings are imbued with the tensions and contradictions of the utopic and the dystopic. They reflect both a yearning for perfect happiness and the fragility of the paradises we seek. The paintings are of “no places” and in-between places and landscapes that are not so much about landscape as they are about the human condition. I see my painting process as a form of inquiry in which I am attempting to grasp and create a sense of the contradictions and ambiguities that pervade our lives at a time of upheaval, uncertainty, and planetary precariousness. I understand my paintings as spaces filled with possibilities, defamiliarized but somewhere where we might find something of ourselves and our world.
Instagram: @neil_mcclelland

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