This collection of surreal paintings uses the rocky breakwater at Partridge Island as well as the island’s interesting history, wildlife and architectural remains as the themes tying the works together.
Working on wooden panels (made to cabinet-size of the Library gallery by local craftsman, Phil Savage) in acrylic paint and other acrylic mediums, the paintings are a continuation of my experiments with texture and line. Drawing on my outsider’s perspective of the city and its relationship to Partridge Island, I have layered distinctively Maritime imagery into the backgrounds.
‘A Piece Cut Out’ is an English translation of the Mi’kmaq name for Partridge Island, Quack’m’kagan’ik. The name eludes to a story of how Glooscap smashed The Great Beaver’s dam that was flooding central New Brunswick. In the story, Partridge Island was a piece of the dam carried into the harbour by the rushing water.
With this exhibition in the Saint John Arts Centre I hope to further my experience as a visual artist (it would be my first showing outside of a commercial or educational gallery) and hopefully to bring a fresh viewpoint on Partridge Island and its history. I aim to engage local artists’ and art-lovers’ imaginations through new ways of interpreting our shared landscape.
Lachlan Grant grew up in the bushy outer suburbs of Sydney, NSW, Australia, moving west to the town of Wagga Wagga with his family at age fifteen. While completing a degree in Graphic Design with a minor in Fine Art Drawing at Charles Sturt University in Wagga, he worked as a comic artist for the University’s student-run newsletter and a caricaturist in local nightclubs. Upon completion of his BA, Lachlan moved into the realm of freelance illustration, working on children’s books, t-shirt design, and logo-work for local businesses.
In 2003, Lachlan moved to Canberra where he took up painting and street art, learning acrylic, oil, and paint-pen use through trial and error.
In 2007, after completing a Bachelor of Education, he began his career as an art educator before moving to Kochi, Japan in 2008 to work as an English language teacher. The aesthetic of the rural Japanese landscape made a deep impression and continues to influence his work.
In 2011 Lachlan moved to New Brunswick to pursue Alana Poirier, a fellow illustrator and teacher who had taught in a neighboring Japanese village. Married in 2013, they now reside in Saint John NB where the local architecture and foggy weather inspire both their work.
Lachlan’s experience in Canada has been a steep learning curve towards self-employment in the art field. His home studio has grown, as has his personal workload. In 2012 he begun to visit local schools to create murals and present talks on street art and vandalism. Handworks gallery in Saint John currently represents his work and provides regular artist-in-residence opportunities.
Using predominantly acrylic paints, Lachlan creates surreal landscapes littered with fanciful figures that appear to have wandered out of myths, games, or comics. Much of his work can be described as grittily textured armatures covered in mossy undergrowth, with layered circular patterns lying hidden in the background or leaping out and obscuring the foreground in wheels of colour.