IMNGINATION: Artist Jan Rae Digby Hildreth

Dreaming of our beautiful coast

WHENEVER local artist Jan Rae is in Sydney – where she is doing a masters degree – she finds herself dreaming about the beautiful beaches in Byron and surrounds.

Hence the title of her most recent exhibition, Observed, Remembered, Imagined, featuring studies of the coastline from her beloved Belongil to Lennox Head.

The long-term local is well-known for her paintings of tango dancers but she says the ocean and coastal landscapes are not a departure. Her art is constantly changing, like the subject itself.

“My artwork is an inquiry into the nature of erosion and the constantly evolving meeting place of earth and water and represents the geography of the imagination,” she said.

The exhibition consists of works of charcoal and ink on paper, smaller paintings, oil on board, which gleam like jewels from between the larger monochrome drawings. There are also several bigger highly-coloured works.

“I have always thought of myself primarily as an artist who draws, so I’m a bit scared of venturing into colour like this,” Jan said. “But I needed to use strong, bright colours to reflect the joy of the place I have lived in since the 70s.”

Some of the headland drawings feature her favourite place on the planet – the lookout between Little Wategos and the cape itself .

The exhibition runs until January 27 at the Lone Goat Gallery at Byron Shire Library.

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