Artist Shelves Her A[euro][approximately]sane Art' for Therapy

Article excerpt

BUDDINA artist Raelean Hall paints a pretty seascape.

Her Japanese-style watercolours of coastal vegetation meeting the thin yellow line of beach linking to white foam and blue ocean are technically perfect and easy on the eye.

She calls it her sane range or behind-the-covers art.

Make no mistake, the works are beautifully executed and hang proudly on the walls of homes and businesses.

Her talent has been recognised with success in the oils and acrylics section of Rotary Spectacular Brisbane 2012, the 2011 Shadforth Prize in the Rotary Art Coast Awards, the 2004 Noosa Art Prize, and the Best Portrait Award at the 2003 Caloundra Art Festival.

But the exhibition she will open at the Caloundra Regional Gallery next Friday occupies an entirely different space.

These are works of discovery; the products of a five-year process she hopes will deliver her PhD in art therapy.

The portraits in progress are collaborative, born of deep conversations with her subjects rather than a asit still and staya exercise in her undoubted talent.

Each is accompanied by a dissertation of those discussions, each subject having agreed to the full revelation of their identity.

Her subjects include Graham Stafford, jailed for 14 years for a murder he didn't commit, gastro-enterologist Melissa White, psychologist Lisa Lindley, children with disabilities worker Natalie Hennessey, nurse and art therapy student Jean Blyth, and investor Sharon McCourt.

They were encouraged to talk candidly about their experiences and to create pieces of art either through painting, drawing or sand play to delve deeper into personal meaning.

aIt's a different way for me to approach my art; it's changed my style,'' Raelean said.

aThe process is so authentic because it forced me to produce work the way they're aligned rather than it being about me validating myself as the sole creator.

aThe pieces capture their energy in the vitality of our conversations. They are three-dimensional with aspects cut away and added.

aI took photos and as the work progressed changes have been made as a result of our staying true to our dialogue, art-making and collaborative understanding. It helps bring meaning to who they are.

aIt's been a more complete way of connecting with the subject and has challenged what I put into the works and why.

aThe subjects have been revealed in a very intimate way. …