exhibitions

paintings

23 May - 8 June 2024

about the exhibition

Julian Laffan’s carefully carved and painted woodblocks invite us to consider the everyday interactions that we experience with trees. This exhibition depicts a selection of familiar trees on Ngunnawal/Ngambri and Yuin Country and the Maori named places of Tapu and Kaiteriteri in New Zealand. The works relate to familiar locations and stories within Julian’s own life and mark significant points of connection for him and his family. He says “Each woodblock is a conversation with a particular species of tree, considering their pivotal role as connectors within communities of birds, animals and people.” Julian hand carves his woodcuts and chooses not to print his blocks, instead creating unique works by directly colouring the woodblock with gouache, oil and pencil. This is a conscious decision to reference the historical use of the woodcut for the dissemination of information and images. His hand carved, cut and painted timber panels are a creation of prolonged and deliberate labour, calling us to pause and acknowledge our own everyday experiences in our environment. With a strong focus on materiality, combined with the slow act of his process, Julian meditates on the stories that these trees have to tell, recalling their presence as living beings in the world.

Canberra based artist Julian Laffan graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Arts (Visual) in 2004. He held his first solo exhibition the following year in 2005 and since then has exhibited frequently, particularly within the Canberra region. Julian is currently undertaking a PhD at the Australian National University, examining “the liminality between the woodblock matrix, the print and the tree.” He has worked on cross-cultural print based projects in East Timor, Indonesia and the Thai-Burma border and travels regularly. In 2024, Julian attended the International Mokuhanga Conference in Japan, participating in workshops on traditional Japanese papermaking and woodblock techniques. Julian’s work is held in the collections of the Canberra Museum and Gallery as well as the Print Council of Australia.

exhibition images

  • 1. $850 The Resurgence (Riuwaka wahi tapu, New Zealand) - pencil, gouache, acrylic and ink on Kauri pine, 13 x 18.5cm

    Enquire >

  • 2. $1,750 Kaiteriteri Dreaming (Dummy Bay, New Zealand) - pencil, gouache, acrylic and ink on Birch plywwod, 25 x 40.5cm

    Enquire >

  • 3. $2,800 Among the Pohutakawa (Stephen's Bay, New Zealand) - pencil, gouache, acrylic and ink on Birch plywood, 50 x 50cm

    Enquire >

  • 4. $1,950 Prelude II (Queen's Gardens, Nelson, New Zealand) - pencil, gouache, acrylic and ink on Birch plywood, 34.5 x 34.5cm

    Enquire >

  • 5. $1,500 Last Summer - Golden Ash (Braidwood) - pencil, gouache, acrylic and ink on marine plywood, 25 x 30cm

    Enquire >

  • 6. $1,950 Braidwood Summer (Under the Hawthorns) - pencil, gouache, acrylic and ink on Birch plywood, 34.5 x 34.5cm

    Enquire >

  • 7. $1,950 Braidwood Ballad (Golden Raintree) - pencil, gouache, acrylic and ink on Birch plywood, 34.5 x 34.5cm

    Enquire >

  • 8. $1,950 Tree Song (Old Canberra House) - pencil, gouache, acrylic and ink on Birch plywood, 34.5 x 34.5cm

    Enquire >

  • 9. $1,950 Early Morning (Mt. Painter) - pencil, gouache, acrylic and ink on Birch plywood, 34.5 x 34.5cm

    Enquire >

  • 10. $2,800 Prelude I (Old Canberra House) - pencil, gouache, acrylic and ink on Birch plywood, 50 x 50cm

    Enquire >

  • 11. $2,800 Nocturne (in the trees of Cook - Blakely's Red Gums) - pencil, gouache, acrylic and ink on Birch plywood, 50 x 50cm

    Enquire >

  • 12. $1,950 Requiem (Lake Burley Griffin) - pencil, gouache, acrylic and ink on Birch plywood, 34.5 x 34.5cm

    Enquire >

  • 13. $1,950 Sonata (Mt Painter) - pencil, gouache, acrylic and ink on Birch plywood, 37cm diameter

    Enquire >

  • 14. $850 Narooma Gums - pencil, gouache, acrylic and ink on Birch plywood, 22.5 x 9.5cm

    Enquire >

  • 15. $1,350 Tui - pencil, gouache, acrylic and ink on Birch plywood, 34 x 19cm

    Enquire >

  • 16. $3,600 Lyrebird - pencil, gouache, acrylic and ink on marine plywood, 51 x 97.5cm

    Enquire >

  • 17. $850 Eastern Spinebill - pencil, gouache, acrylic, oil pastel and ink on Birch plywood, 21 x 18cm

    Enquire >

  • 18. $850 Scarlet Robin - pencil, gouache, acrylic, oil pastel and ink on Birch plywood, 28 x 16.5cm

    Enquire >

  • 19. $2,600 Powerful Owl - pencil, gouache, acrylic, oil pastel and ink on marine plywood, 62 x 42.5cm

    Enquire >

  • 20. $1,350 Wattlebird - pencil, gouache, acrylic, oil pastel and ink on marine plywood, 36 x 14.5cm

    Enquire >