The Farmer's Wife depicts the narrative of a woman, the Farmer’s Wife, who leaves, or escapes, the family farm with a traveller.
The suite of works maps her emancipation and strength as a female character.
As the story unfolds, she becomes independent and assertive, shedding her submissive domiciled position as the wife of someone else.
McLean’s characters are crisply executed with sharp-edged features and chisel-like mannerisms.
His paintings are rich in motifs, with layers of meaning and interpretation, each work adding to the drama and development of the characters’ relationship.
True to Surrealism, McLean lets his imagination and subconscious do the work, allowing the characters to change and develop as each painting takes shape.
Growing up in Tauranga, McLean was inspired by his art teacher at Tauranga Boys’ College, Edward Bullmore, to pursue art.
McLean now lives and paints from his home in Urenui, Taranaki, and the magnificence of the region’s landscape is central to his work.
The settings he uses are not just conveniently part of his own environment but symbolic in themselves, and tales poignantly rooted in our history.