The large dreamlike worlds within Neil McClelland’s paintings draw upon a sense of place, permeating the canvas with dark forest moonscapes and dusty pink twilights. Each of these works conjure a moment frozen in time, with their quiet intensity conveying memories spent in backyard gardens or the family cottage. McClelland explains, “My process involves layering fragments of visual experience, memory and imagination to create in-between places that are not so much about representing a real place but rather distilling it in a search for meaning”. This subjective search for meaning will surface differently for each viewer. Whether it is a memory rooted in peace, solitude or joy, McClelland’s paintings invoke an awakening to our subconscious lived experiences. He explains, “I seek to capture a sense of uneasiness and precariousness but also a sense of awe and wonder at the interconnectedness of everything: land and sky, earth and cosmos, night and day, and past/present/future”.
Originally from Quebec, Neil McClelland divides his time between his home and studio in Edmonton, Alberta and Victoria, BC where he teaches visual arts part-time at the University of Victoria and Vancouver Island School of Art. Neil received his MFA from the University of Victoria in 2014 and has had solo and group exhibitions in Alberta, BC, Ontario and Quebec. He is a 2016 and 2020 grantee of the internationally prestigious Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation and his paintings are in collections of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Colart Collection.