Artist’s Statement

I wish to advise that I have had a legal name change and I am now known as Liadaan Fahbien, signing my work Liadaan.   I used to work under the name of Lyndel Thomas.

I divide my work between the disciplines of painting, sculpture and poetry, however painting is my big love and the trunk of the tree where most of my time is spent. I also love to create sculptures and I spend much time in contemplation writing haiku verses.  Nature is the inspiration for all of my work.

For me chiaroscuro, spontaneity and poetry are the elements that I aim for when I am painting and drawing.  If I have a label it is that of the contemplative painter and I look for the light, mood and atmosphere of the subject. I work in the tonal method and in landscape I favour atmospheric, poetic, late afternoon and crepuscular subjects.  Figures are a favourite source of inspiration and are usually painted in contemplative poses.  I don’t follow art trends and I try to keep true to my own vision.  To do this I now remain a reclusive artist away from art groups.   At present I am working with symbolist themes and my dreams.   Often I like to add a companion animal to my paintings.   On many occasions this is my piglet Liberty and my cats Chandra and Mayora . The message with Liberty piglet is to bring awareness about speciesism.  Liberty serves as a model for all animals who are treated cruelly as simply a commodity for humans.  Plein air and working directly from the model are also great sources of joy. My eventual aim is for what George Inness, the great American landscape painter described as ‘seeing the truth beyond the reality!’  My paintings have been described as contemplative, introspective, lyrical and with a sense of a ‘mysterious elsewhere’!

Sometimes I use small plein air paintings as studies for the purpose of creating larger paintings, which are worked up in the studio.  But of course the small paintings are works that also stand on their own. I work in both oil and gouache usually and occasional soft pastel.

Travel is an important part of my art practice. I draw upon inspiration that comes from absorbing different cultures, peoples and landscape. I also love the rocky, grassy woodlands of North Central Victoria where I live. I spend a lot of time soaking up this environment and I gain much pleasure working from it.

My mixed media and ceramic sculptures are often personifications of nature. They feature the feminine, animals and plants.  I like to use found wood and items from second hand shops and garage sales. Story telling has always been an important feature in these sculptures. Working with clay brings about a total feeling of Grace. I love the way that the clay seems to have it’s own intelligence. It tends to grow into something of it’s own accord before it is fired and purged in the heat of the kiln. I try to let the clay talk and take the lead. I feel very connected to the spiritual through this experience and the sense of alchemy at work. Lately I have been experimenting with grout.

I consider all my work to be a prayer, my meditation.