Holly Johnson Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Breathing Space, an exhibition of new oil paintings by Janaki Lennie. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Friday, December 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibition continues through Saturday, December 30, 2006.
Inspired by nature and the Western landscape painting tradition, Lennie’s subject is the distant sky. She positions you suspended in midair. Other compositional components - stylized foliage, industrial architecture, power lines, and street lamps loiter along the edges of the paintings. This skew in perspective has an overall hallucinatory effect. A subtle palette of browns, grays, and greens lends her landscapes a decidedly cinematic feel conjuring up hot summer afternoons, smog-filled rush hours, and stillness at twilight.
Growing up in Western Australia and separated from most of the world by the Indian Ocean and the Australian deserts, she was mesmerized the vivid light and vast horizons of the sparsely populated coastal plain. These spaces documented in her work treat technology as nature and nature as experience, taking landscape back to a true sense of place.
When asked about her work Lennie states, “My work explores the possibility of calm in the midst of chaotic experience, which is often characterized by a profound disconnection from the natural world as well as each other. Even with colors distorted by light and pollution, glimpses of the sky seen between the intrusions of the city are strangely beautiful and offer a path to reconnect with mythic notions of earth and stars.”
Lennie received two Bachelor of Art degrees from Curtin University, Western Australia in the early 1990’s. She moved to Houston sixteen years ago and in 1999 she received a M.F.A. from the University of Houston. Recent exhibitions have been seen in cities such as; Austin, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Antonio, and Shanghai. From July to September of this year her work was featured in Perspectives 152: Four Artists, Four Stories at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas. In 2005 she was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship Grant from Cultural Arts Council of Houston, Harris County. Her work is in numerous private collections as well as the permanent collections of Art Bank of Australia, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Telecom Australia, Weatherford, Texas, Elizabeth Jolley Collection, Curtin University in Australia, Burns, Anderson, Jury & Brenner in Austin, Duke Energy in Houston, and Progressive Insurance.