‘Full Immersion’ visualises Carla Hananiah’s personal journey of rediscovering her first romance with the landscape. Roving through the South Island of New Zealand – Hananiah’s birth country – the artist found solace in the restful beauty of the natural world. Here, she painted en plein air in physical communion with the land, fostering a perspectival shift from looking at landscapes to being in the land. For Hananiah, this cathartic immersion in sublime environments hatched a profound cognizance of mortality and the simple delight of being alive. The paintings pulsate with this living energy – the sky swims with colour and the sun sprinkles its last light on aquamarine lakes, while the evening’s glacial breath creeps in and caresses the viewer’s skin. These sensory textures hedge Hananiah’s paintings with an eternal life force, as if they’re breathing along with the viewer. In them, we experience the artist’s emotional journey from the valleys of despair to a peak of thankfulness.
Meanwhile, other works in the show reflect recent meanderings in Batlow and Mt Kosciusko during a snowy winter voyage. Painting in the frosty, monochromatic forest, the artist found her preformed perceptions of the Australian bush giving way to a nascent new vision. Hananiah’s gestural brushstrokes incarnate these first impressions through what she terms ‘the truth of the mark’. She is faithful to the feelings of these places; feelings that then envelop the viewer in a gentle embrace.