‘Civilisation can’t exist without a sense of play’: Nan Collantine’s works resonate with this beguiling statement by renowned anthropologist Claud Levi-Strauss. The lyrical fabric of her works is made up of rhythmic elements: containment, layer, overlap. Soft squares of colour chime. A take on the abstract tradition instigated by Piet Mondrian. They evoke a plural vision: as if there are many windows, many openings. Looking at her works gives the sense of being offered a way through.

The works tend to have a formal title, accompanied by a second title in brackets that is subjective and more lighthearted. Nan describes her work as ‘a story of process’. The process of harnessing and soothing a bustling multitude of colours and shapes. The initial title refers to the ocean: the origin of story-telling and the epitome of harmony and strife. The abstract elements that make up the painting could be like an archipelago, unified by the sea that surrounds them: ‘After a long time lost at sea I find my island’ the painter says of her process.

New Blood Art