About Ranna®

50 years of art making

Photo - Ranna 2019. © All rights reserved.

Button - home

Button - contact


Hot Spots

At Embassy


Black &




Her process. Why she does it - in her own words. Facts. Selected Exhibition/Work List. Selected Reviews.

Photo - Ranna working on her ex-stallation art project, 2013. ©


Ranna's Process

~ “If you can’t draw, you can’t paint. I know when a mark is weak. You need to be able to draw so that the marks you make in paint, or in other media, are eloquent.”

~ “When I’m stuck, it’s not art that gets me out of that again. It’s music. Music pulls me out of that, gets me back into flow, and the flow comes out in the art studio." (Ranna plays guitar, koto, kucheng, and shamisen.)

In other words, don’t keep banging away at a piece when you are stuck. Get back in the flow..."

What keeps her going?: "I love art-making."

  • When life lifts you up, make art.
  • When lifes slams you, make art.
  • When life is too full, make art.
  • When life is grindingly slow, make art.
  • When everyone is watching, stay removed in the studio and make art.
  • When no-one else is watching, make art.
  • Get everything else done but always find a way to make art.
  • I think all this is what makes me "an artist" - at any rate, that is why I call myself an artist.
  • And... Yes, I can officially call myself "Dr Ranna-Lesley Lachlan" - that creative arts PhD thing I did says so; as if it matters much to making art.

Facts about Ranna® - 'a whole of life view'

Born in New South Wales, Australia, Ranna® has been actively producing work as an artist for over fifty years. To this day, Ranna® continues to produce artworks and run her company, dividing her professional and private life almost equally between the U.S.A. and Australia. She has also been the sole carer of her frail aged parent since 2007, and is a doting grandmother who spends as much time as possible with 'the Bubs' rather than galleries and reviews. Some things are just way more important... like continuing to make art and being with them. It's a more relaxed, 'whole of life' approach to creativity. On the professional front, she earned an inter-disciplinary PhD in the Creative Arts in 1995, the first studio-based PhD ever produced in Australia. She has travelled extensively in Asia, conducting artistic research throughout South East Asia, and long term research in India and Japan. She has lived in Australia, Thailand, Japan, and the USA. Ranna maintains art studios in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, (USA) and the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia. Click here for a glimpse of art projects at both locations, or scroll down for a summary of recent and past work.

Photo of Ranna. © DCH.

Selected Exhibitions and Series

2020-2023: Space, Plane, Line. Ongoing extallations.

2015 - 2019: Ongoing Snoga ex-stallation artworks series.

2015: Ongoing Spirit Lines series - in progress. Mixed and refractive media on canvas. Commentary.

2014: Snoga ex-stallation artworks series - continuing.

2014: Ongoing Spirit Lines series - continuing.

2013: Snoga ex-stallation artworks series - continuing.

2013: Spirit Lines series - continuing.

2012: Ranna worked on two series. "Hold the Line" series and "Doorway" series.

2011: Invited to exhibit at Florence Biennale (Italy).

2011: Bush ex-stallation project, Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia. Exterior installation project. Film & stills documentation.

2010: First First, Virginia USA. Exterior installation project. Film & stills documentation.

2010: B&W series, works on paper.

(Note: From late 2007 through 2010 Ranna's studio and exhibition schedule suffered some disruptions as a result of her assuming full responsibility for her elderly mother's health and housing needs after her mother's "carer" defrauded her mother of her assets and belongings, notably the home which Ranna had provided her. Protection of the elderly and raising awareness of the signs of elder exploitation - particularly elder financial exploitation, remains a cause dear to Ranna's heart.)

2007: 6th Dimension, Virginia, USA.

2006: The Community Space, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

2006: 6th Dimension, Virginia, USA.

2005: 6th Dimension, Virginia, USA.

2004: Embassy of Australia, Washington D.C. USA.

2004: Nemacolin Woodlands Galleries, PA, USA.

2004: 6th Dimension, Virginia, USA.

2003: Gallery 482, Brisbane, Australia.

2002: Lord Fairfax College, Virginia, USA.

2002: Gallery 482, Brisbane, Australia.

2002: Washington Project for the Arts/ Corcoran - open studio project (Winchester location).

2001 Gallery 1, Winchester, VA, USA. Ei-Shodou!

2000: Amerika Haus Museum, Munich, Germany. Featuring Ranna®, Jan Beekman, George Anderton.

2000: AxelA Gallery, Washington D.C.

2000: Gallery 1, Winchester, VA, USA.

1998: Smith and Stonely on Stratton, Brisbane.

1998: Pinnacles Gallery, Townsville, Australia.

1998: Perc Tucker Gallery, Townsville. Mid-career survey show.

1997: Perc Tucker Gallery, Townsville.

1995: James Cook University Theatre Space, Townsville. (Video documentary available.)

1989: Faculty show, Atomi Gakuen, Tokyo. (Subsequent interruption for doctoral research and substantive change in direction.)

1987: Flinders Street Studio, Townsville.

1986: Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville, Australia. Touring solo show also included Burdekin TAFE College Campus Gallery, Burdekin and Raintrees Community Arts Centre, Cairns. Accompanied by soundtrack by the artist - use of soundtracks composed by the artist continued through 1998.

1985: University Art Museum, University of Queensland, Brisbane. Queensland/Works 1950-1985: A Survey of 80 Painters.

1985: Raintrees Community Arts Centre, Cairns.

1985: Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane. Brisbane Hot.

1985: Perc Tucker Gallery, Townsville.

1984: Perc Tucker Gallery, Townsville.

1983: Graduates' exhibition, Perc Tucker Gallery, Townsville.

1980: Tonnoir's Gallery, Townsville.

1973: End of year exhibition, Queensland College of Art, Brisbane.

Competition exhibitions in Townsville and Cairns, Australia, not listed. The artist has also received several awards and grants.

Scholarly Research

Thesis (1989) - Painted Designs on Rainforest Aboriginal Shields of North Queensland

Thesis (PhD 1995) - Transcultural Synaesthesia: Visual and Musical Experiment Across Cultural and Sensory Planes (2 Volumes).


Other information

Environmental causes

Social conscience causes

Movement Arts

Early Reviews of the artist's work

PROVENANCE NOTE: It is common that authors writing about an artist's work unilaterally employ variants of the artist's name, regardless of the correct name. Over time, numerous variants of Ranna's name have been employed by reviewers and arts writers: In particular, reviews, essays, and writings about Ranna's work prior to 1993 generally refer to her as Ranna or Ranna Hale. Articles after 1993, published and unpublished, refer to her as Ranna, Ranna Lachlan, Ranna-Lesley Lachlan, or Dr Ranna-Lesley Lachlan (PhD), or variants of these depending on authors' unilateral preferences.

Star Staff Report, 2003, Shimmer Artwork Exhibited at LFCC, Winchester Star, July 17, p. C8.

Kennelly, E. April 2000, Island, Continent, catalogue essay, Axela Gallery, Washington D.C.

Adlington, B. 1998, "Bridge between cultures", Townsville Bulletin, 6 February. p. 24.

Gallagher, J. 1998, "Myriad plays on life", Townsville Bulletin, 23 January. p. 22.

Ruinard, E. 1998, Walking into Light - The Bird Tracks of Calligraphy, catalogue for mid-career survey show, Perc Tucker Gallery, Townsville.

Gallagher, J. 1997, "The shifting visions of a life in progress", Townsville Bulletin, 7 November. p. 26.

Ruinard, E. 1997, review of Shifting, Perc Tucker Gallery, Townsville.

Paroissien, L. 1995, This artist "...has threaded together an extraordinarily diverse range of sources through which original study of cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural concerns is constructed. The references are wonderfully rich, and terrain across quite disparate specialisations is traversed with great attention to accuracy and detail. [The artist's] research and thought processes within the studio are fascinating." (Leon Paroissien, 1995. Former Director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia; Current Editor in Chief, Art & Culture, Sydney, Australia. Excerpt from Mr Paroissien's report on Lachlan's doctorate.)

Bock, A. 1986, " 'Total Art' at Townsville", Brisbane Courier Mail, 31 May, Art Review.

Bock, A. 1986, "Taking a look at exhibitions of Townsville artists", The Advertiser, Townsville, 29 May.

Searle, R. & Hale, R., 1986, Myth Woman Song, catalogue essay, Perc Tucker Gallery, Townsville.

Collins, K. 1985, "Behind the Queensland blockade for 35 years", Brisbane Courier Mail, 12 May, Reflections.

Campbell, C. 1985, "Dual exposure for local artist", Townsville Daily Bulletin, April, The Arts.

Rees, V. 1985, "A woman's work", Cairns Post, 24 April.

Underhill, N.D.H. & Enright, M. 1985, Queensland/ Works 1950-1985: a survey of 80 painters, University Art Museum, University of Queensland, Brisbane.

Woolcock, P. 1985. "Hot stuff at the institute [of Modern Art]", Brisbane Courier Mail, 27 March, Art Review.

Chapple, V. 1984, "Ranna to study art in Italy", Townsville Daily Bulletin, October, The Arts [N.B. The artist has often been reported under "Ranna" and "Ranna Hale", her former surname.]


These links will take you to a different site, so book mark www.ranna.com first, or use your back button to return to ranna.com.

Shimmer work/ mid-career survey show
Ei-shodo work
Figurative work
Shimmer Artwork Exhibited at LFCC




REVIEWER: Ranna's art "...explores the profound while serving as a portal to beauty."
(Kennelly, E., re Island, Continent exhibition by Ranna®, Washington DC.
The author writes for Art & Antiques, Art & Auction, ARTnews.)


"Hot Spot" by Ranna®. ©.
Hot Spots

"World View" painting by Ranna®. ©.
At Embassy

Eo-shodou fresco by Ranna®. ©

Black & white art by Ranna®. ©
Black &

Figurative Art by Ranna®. ©

Blue art by Ranna®. ©

Ranna's Art
1970s - 2000

Ranna® Arts Incorporated (LLC) (DE & VA, USA).

Copyright, trademark, company & site information.

Artworks © Ranna®. All rights reserved.

Ranna.com © 2000 - 2023.