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Lisa Chandler : A Local Artist Achieving World Wide Success

Lisa Chandler Painting in response to Covid -19 2020, Acrylic on Canvas.

I have chosen to write about an artist who I regard as a role model, Lisa Chandler.

Lisa is a local Tasman Artist who I first met when she won the Landscape Award at the Nelson Regional Art Awards in 2007.

Lisa has been a finalist in a number of major New Zealand art awards including the National Contemporary Art Award (2015), the New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Award (2018, 2015) and the Molly Morpeth Canaday Art Award (2015, 2014 and 2012).

Lisa graduated with a MFA (Hons) from Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design, Auckland in 2012 .She held 10 solo exhibitions, and has been selected for numerous group shows including ‘Cruel City’ at The Suter Art Gallery, Nelson, New Zealand and the ‘International Art Survey’ Beijing, China.

In 2013 Lisa participated in an artist residency in Singapore supported by the Asia New Zealand Foundation, and the following year was invited back for an international collaboration project. Lisa regularly exhibits in Singapore and belongs to the international artist collective ‘Instinctive’.
In 2014, LIsa spent two months in Beijing on the Red Gate Residency.
In 2016, following a four-month residency at the Leipzig International Art Programme in Germany and inspired by the strong painting scene and art community in Leipzig,Lisa set up a base in the city and has a permanent studio at the well known Spinnerei art hub.

To quote Lisa,
In my paintings, I am constantly searching for a balance between abstraction and figuration. Urban structures and people intertwine through a process of layering, obliterating and tracing. Images are painted in, painted out and painted over. The history in the layers of paint traces the transformation of urban space. This intense, time-consuming layering process, is sometimes offset by faster paintings, that offer a contrasting raw and unfinished aesthetic. Alongside my large-scale paintings, I also create works on paper, often including collage and printmaking techniques”.

Her first major solo exhibition in a public art gallery in New Zealand opened in February 2019 at The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatu, in Nelson, New Zealand.


“Superficially the style of the paintings owes much to pop art’s flat expressionistic slathers over a bricolage of charged imagery — Robert Rauschenberg in particular comes to mind — but beneath that is a humanist lifeforce, elegant melancholy and anger that seems to be channelling the wartime imagery of British neo-romantics like Eric Ravilious, or Henry Moore’s drawings of Blitzed London—and the raw anguish and frustration of German new objectivity. For all that, and one could easily go back further to Picasso’s Guernica, and Goya’s Third of May 1808, or even to Renaissance paintings of battles and massacres, this is resolutely contemporary painting, virtuosic at points, speaking to us in the here and now, taking its cue from the image and atrocity-saturated media bombardment by which we experience the world.
It makes you feel something in these jaded and empathetically fatigued times, and how often can you say that?
Andrew Paul Wood “
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That review sums up why I admire her style and her constant drive to push the boundaries both with her handling of different mediums and with her subject choices.
I was fortunate to have the chance to see ‘The Dividing Line’ Exhibition at the Suter Exhibition and I agree with Andrew Wood that it is Lisa’s ability to provoke an emotional response in the viewer that elevates her work beyond other artists.
I am in awe of the determination, drive, focus and hard work that Lisa Chandler has shown in pursuing her career as an artist. Her global success proves that being a Nelson based artist is no barrier to realising your creative dreams.
She has an active and constantly updated Face book page where she promotes exhibitions and also individual work for sale. She belongs to a wide variety of Artist groups.

She has been part of the New Zealand Artist Covid-19 Challenge where she has created work in response to the Pandemic and she has joined the Artist Pledge to support other artists by spending a percentage of her own sales on others work.

Lisa Chandler is an inspirational role model to all local Tasman artists and one day I hope to follow in her artistic footsteps by becoming a successful and self supporting painter.