Janaki Lennie

This archive covers my work from undergraduate school in Australia, through fourteen years in Houston and two years in Newfoundland. There are a limited number of images visible depending on your device. If you click on any of the images a slideshow with additional works will pop up.



The Island series was conceived while living in Newfoundland Canada and was inspired by the various islands I have called home. They shimmer on the horizon as an alluring utopia and float in the uncertain atmospheric space between fantasy and mundane reality, separated from the viewer by physical distance and by their constructed desire. They remain just out of reach.

Breathing Space


The Breathing Space paintings were inspired by the evening sky of Houston with its dense humid atmosphere and chemical and light pollution. In this series the central void-like spaces with their uncertain spatial depth and slightly unnatural colors betray my ambivalence - while the sky might seem a perfect site for daydreaming it offers no tangible alternative to the world on the ground. In this sense my search for beauty in the environment of the city is reconciled. Manmade and natural artifacts have equal importance; the light that illuminates them may be streetlight or starlight and is equally beautiful.

Future Conditional


In contrast to the landscape paintings that are devoid of human figures, the tiny figures in the Future Conditional graphite drawings are marooned with only their shadow in an empty environment. They seem to inhabit their own psychological space with scant relationship to each other. Despite the lack of interaction between the figures, they collectively impact the balance of the composition they inhabit in a way they could not perceive: much as we are often largely unaware of our environment and our impact on the world.

Provisional View


The Provisional View paintings are an attempt to impose beauty onto my mundane surroundings. Exaggerated color, more active skies and peripheral details still focus attention on the central void of the painting, but with less chance of one flying away into that sky space.



In the Stargazing paintings the sky rather than the land begins to figure most prominently as the perfect representation of my Houston environment. Perpetual dusky light over the city means that stars, those most romantic of symbols, are seldom seen, making stargazing futile. Coincidentally I took up flying gliders at this time and experienced this dimension in a unique way. The sky becomes an escape route from the noise and busyness of the ground.

Earlier Work


My earliest concerns in art were with my Australian suburban environment with its iconic, ubiquitous television antennae and lopped street trees, both seeming to compete for visual dominance over the wide horizon. Relocating to Houston Texas in 1994 provided a striking contrast. Here the wide horizon was fractured into fleeting glimpses between the concrete of bridges and freeway overpasses. These towering, enclosing structures were utterly new to my eyes and represented all the disorientation and alienation I initially felt as a stranger in a strange land. Later, exploring the representation of the American landscape as depicted by the nineteenth century Hudson River School artists began for me a process of reconciling the facts of the urban and suburban environment with my romantic longing for beauty and pristine nature.