The Farmer is the much-awaited sequel to The Farmer's Wife, which was held at the Gallery in 2009. At the close of the exhibition, McLean's audience was left wondering what became of the Farmer after his Wife abandoned him for the Traveller.
Both exhibitions are about journeys. The Farmer picks up the story of what unfolded and how their lives panned out, for better or worse. The storyline is age old, based on the romantic liaison between two lovers who part and eventually return to each other.
McLean works in a pseudo Surrealist style.
His paintings operate on two levels.
On one level they are literal narratives, and on a second level they have layered, symbolic associations that can be open to interpretation by the viewer.
Originally from Tauranga, McLean attended Tauranga Boys' College where he was taught art by Edward Bullmore.
Bullmore was one of New Zealand's earliest Surrealist artists.
McLean works as a full-time artist from his home in remote Urenui, Taranaki where the rich landscape plays an important role in his work.