Neil Hann is a full time artist living and working in Port Germein, and a foundation member of Germein Art Focus, a cooperative of 7 hand-picked artists using Harm Folkers gallery space in Port Germein as a hub.
Neil is a member of the Board of Management of the Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery and was a local art teacher until 2008. In recent years Neil has had one-man shows at Pikes Winery, Annie’s Lane Winery, the ‘New Land Gallery’ Port Adelaide, Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery and Port Germein. He has also exhibited regularly with Germein Art Focus and at the Blinman ‘Brush With Art’ exhibitions.
Artists Statement 2012
I was born in 1947and from the age of two I was labelled ‘the artist’ in the family and have always regarded myself as such. My career in art was through the secure pathway of art teaching with only spasmodic forays into my own arts production. In January 2008, after a long career, I took an early retirement from teaching to become a full- time, insecure artist.
I have always responded to the linear in art and nature, and on returning to painting in 2008, I sought to analyse and explore this aspect of my creativity. My present work maintains influences from linear artists such as Arshille Gorky, Brett Whiteley, Colin Lanceley, the broken surfaces and layering processes of Western Desert painters and the illustrative and expressive qualities of traditional Chinese landscapes.
From step-by-step layering strategies used to bypass inertia in 2003, I established a multi-layered process using a strong graphic line as a defining and final layer. This anchoring of image provided opportunities to explore the more abstract possibilities within the multiple layers. Soft and hard layers, growing and decaying layers, building and destroying, underlying and overlaying, they are all transient and go on and on, like life.
The exposed bony structures of the geology of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia, and the beautifully animated forms of the trees clinging to life on barren rock surfaces are reminiscent of the ideal, richly romantic and schematic traditional landscape paintings of China, which have been an important influence on my present direction. I am now taking the visual language developed for landscape painting and applying it to figure compositions and still life as well.
Scientific, intuitive and experiential use of colours in a reductive/constructive manner enriches the contemplative process for me and hopefully provides a surface ripe for viewer contemplation as well.