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Language of Light

Exhibition Opening

2pm Sunday 27 November, 2016

Opened by Julie Bradley

Visual Artist

Octagon ArtSpace

Bungendore Wood Works Gallery

Exhibition continues until 7 February, 2017


Chan Dissanayake and Rick Cochrane share a common vision in their art practices, regularly painting together in both the studio and en plein air. They explore the dynamics of light in their chosen mediums. Both also teach and mentor: Rick in drawing, oil painting and printmaking and Chan in watercolour.

Throughout history older artists have mentored developing artists; Will Dargie mentored Ivor Hele and Lloyd Reese was a guiding light for Brett Whitely. When you look at noted artists you can see the pattern of their influences. Both Chan and Rick teach because they know that there is a two-way benefit within the process. Teaching requires the distillation of experience and ideas in order to communicate it; a process that focuses and helps ongoing development of their own art practices. This exhibition showcases a cross section of their work as each use their signature visual-language construct to explore the subtle emotional mood of light in a variety of mediums.


Chan Dissanayake

Light is a constant source of beauty. It has been the main source of inspiration for many artists in the past and present. The lights and darks are the basis of what we see in the world around us.

Understanding the light has been a lifelong pursuit in my artistic journey. I’m instinctively drawn to the atmospheric aesthetics created by the effects of light. My chosen medium for capturing these effects is watercolour.

The tones created by light and dark play a major role in my paintings. The shimmering light of midday; defused soft light of early morning or late afternoon and the heavy atmospheric effects of rain or mist can only be expressed visually with the sensitive use of light. The fleeting characteristics of light can often evoke different moods on the same subject; I find the spontaneous nature of watercolour to be a perfect medium in capturing these moments. The subtleties of the watercolour medium and the techniques such as wet-into-wet can be best used to announce the sensitivities associated with light.

I deliberately use the interplay of light to eliminate the visual clutter and bring clarity to my paintings. This exhibition showcases my latest body of work in exploring the language of light.”


Rick Cochrane

My art practice is constantly evolving as I continually explore the possibilities of new techniques and materials. Some of the best things that happen are often mistakes.

I have never locked into a single medium or style although the signature of my work, my brush stroke and, my drawing marks are uniquely mine. I am much more interested in where I am going rather than where I have been. How I was painting ten years ago is different to the way I paint draw or print today.

There is however one constant: The mood and emotion of light and how its application with tone, colour and the patina of different medium,s has always underpinned my work.

Edward Hopper summed it up best when he said “if you could say it with words there would be no need for painting”. Making art is my visual language and hopefully it connects with those that view it in a totally different way to the written or spoken word.

Friday 18 November 2016