The paintings of Nick Dridan, Harley Manifold and Shaun Tan were exhibited at The Lost Ones Gallery, Ballarat, from 18 January to 26 February 2017, and this podcast is a recording of a panel discussion hosted at the Gallery on the 11th February. Each driven by diverse inspirations, their works are bound by the solitary figure in a contemporary landscape, be it urban, suburban or rural. While at first glance these spaces might seem dark and broody, Dridan, Manifold and Tan explore the notion of being alone, but not always lonely. Artist Harley Manifold explained that these moody scenes are the antithesis of feeling lonely in a crowded room.
“They’re singular figures in a moody or bare landscape, but these are the places where we feel at home and comfortable, where our minds take flight and our inner narratives start to whisper,” Harley said. Shaun Tan agreed that his works are of places of comfort, where the characters are able to relish their seclusion and even enjoy being alone with their thoughts and feelings. “For me, these artworks are something of a solitary adventure within a commonplace landscape,” Shaun said. “It’s an exploration of the places that are comforting to us, not only in our surroundings but also of ourselves.”