When Tony Lane began studies at Elam School of Fine Arts in 1968 Colin McCahon was the senior lecturer in painting. Lane describes McCahon as a “powerful presence” in the school, who provided a strong formative role model for many of his students. McCahon was working on his Landscape Theme and Variations Series at this time so Lane was able to witness these paintings evolve in his tutor’s studio.
During his tour of the South Island last year Lane was reminded of his experiences as a student of McCahon’s. The powerful spirituality that pervades McCahon’s painting was “distilled from what surrounded him” Lane recalls. The South Island inspired landscapes Lane painted subsequently provide an eloquent tribute to his tutor while reaffirming his personal connection to the iconic beauty of our natural environment.