Helene Leane's artwork is distinctively her own and we can see this in Leane's second solo exhibition at Gallery 139 COAL DUSTED. Based on the little suburb of Carrington which Leane moved to this year, it endeared itself into the imagination of the artist to produce this series of monotypes, paintings, encaustics and photo transfers.
It is Leane's monotypes that show her maturing as an artist best. A printmaking process in which the artist has developed over her art practice using gouache paint, hand cut stencilling and a gelatine plate. The result, as you can see in this exhibition, is a beautiful soft layering of imagery where that the more you look at, the more you are drawn into the world of the artist and in Leane's world life is full of softness and calm amongst the chaos. Leane prints onto a porous Japanese hosho paper and then uses acid-free glue to attached onto a backing sheet. Like all good printmakers, she is aware of the importance of the longevity of her work and always employs a quality artist framer to add the final touches to her exhibition work. I wanted to acknowledge this part of Leane's professional approach to her art practice – framing can often be an afterthought but with this artist you get the whole package.
Leane likes to experiment with other processes, recently the encaustic process (wax painting) and in this exhibition there are 5 beautiful little landscapes that play with the encaustic medium as much as they do with the subject of Carrington. On the back wall of this exhibition, Leane has employed a photo transfer process with mixed media. Capturing the different shapes, textures and objects that are typical of Carrington. And lastly, the paintings have taken on a mixture of muted marone, soft blue and hints of reed green all tainted by coal dust black which makes up the title of the exhibition.
~ Ahn Wells