News

HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY ...

WORKS FROM POLLACK SWAMP

This collection of works is showing at Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery from

11th Oct till 1st Dec 2019

 

As a person who located to this river country 30 years ago, I have long thought about the mechanisms of place making. For me, an unfolding understanding of both the history of place (ancient and modern) and geography (pertinent to the creeks and rivers of our landscapes), has embedded me deeply here. 

 

 This exhibition of works is my personal response to the significant ecological, cultural and archaeological Barapa Barapa people's site of the Pollack Swamp. A place of “history and geography”. Located between Barham and Swan Hill in a flora reserve on the periphery of the Koondrook-Perricoota Forest, it is known locally as The Pollack. The name is derived from the Barapa Barapa word Pulitj meaning swamp. The Pollack encompasses significant ancient Aboriginal village sites and colonial bird breeding habitat. The swamp is closely aligned to the Blandowski expedition etchings made in the 1850’s, which recorded the life and practises of the Murray Darling First Peoples and are now archived in Cambridge and Berlin.

 

Over the course of 2019 a series of field trips to The Pollack, including visits with artists Elisabeth Cummings, Pamela U'Ren French and Hayley Martin, were undertaken.  Visual information was gathered from which the final pieces have been created. Included in the exhibition is a collaborative scroll, painted in the field by Elisabeth, Pam and myself.

 

In these challenging times I still take much joy from living here and as someone who works on the land I value the landscape deeply.  I would like to think that in a broader sense, if we can collectively connect to the history and geography of our continent that we will be well placed to make decisions pertinent to a positive future. Please enjoy my paintings as a personal expression of place. 

 

Wendy McDonald, October 2019

 

***please note these works are not for sale through the gallery, direct enquiries welcome***

emails to: hello@wendymcdonald.com.au  

 

 

I am pleased to announce my new exhibition

‘Transitions’

A SOLO SHOW

Elms Gallery, Surry Hills

Wednesday 21st to Saturday 31st August 2019

Curated and presented by Amber Creswell Bell

The body of work for “Transitions” was commenced in March 2019. March was a gentler month following a long, difficult, dry summer. Autumn here in the river country is often dry, but there is always a sense of anticipation, as the transition to shorter days with longer shadows instills a sense of the break in the weather that may be to come.

Studies of Thule Lagoon and Pollack Swamp, both significant riverine habitats connected to the Koondrook Perricoota Forest, were undertaken. I was honoured to have artists Pam U’Ren French and Elisabeth Cummings accompany me on my field trips. Introducing your landscape to other artists always leads to heightened personal perspectives and new ways of seeing. Environmental consultant Dan Hutton guided us through his important archaeological and ecological fieldwork in these remnant forests, the traditional home of the Barapa Barapa people.

Beautiful rain then fell here during May, providing respite from what for us, was one of the driest years on record. The later works for Transitions reflect the emotion of this time. Transparent, fluid layers aim to capture the sense of liquidity and the water puddled on the parched earth. The ancient Redgums ran with sap and tannins creating a myriad of pinks, tans and gold. The earth was soft and quiet, waiting for green to emerge. The night sky had a renewed clarity as it was washed clean of dust.

Living on this ancient floodplain and grappling with ecological and political change, has instilled an additional sense of transition into our daily being … an uncertain one. Philosopher Thomas Berry termed our time the “ecozoic age” … a time of human influence over environment that is unprecedented. As inhabitants of the most arid continent on earth, a collective, informed and intelligent approach to water and land management is imperative. We need to truly understand and acknowledge this landscape’s ancient past and the reality of the present so we can transition to a positive future.

These works are a very personal homage to our beautiful,unique Riverine habitats and the people who care for them. In these confronting times I take so much heart from the dedicated folk who put “the noise” aside and simply persist with good works for positive ecological and cultural outcomes.

Please enjoy.

Wendy McDonald, 2019

Please click link for catalogue details

http://www.ambercreswell.com/wendy-mcdonald/

 

 

 

 

"QUIETLY"

Koskela February 2019

An exhibition of my latest works will be held at Koskela,

Rosebery, Sydney during Feb 2019.

 

Quietly is my new collection of paintings completed during the last months of 2018. The paintings represent a narrative of the everyday in our landscape. Small moments comprising the whole.

I am privileged to live and work on the banks of the Thule Lagoon, adjacent to the Perricoota Forest on the Murray River floodplain.  The lagoon was once the bed of the Murray River, till a geological shift 30 thousand years ago changed the course of the river and created a series of creeks and lagoons. Ancient redgums tower above us. Young trees regenerate when the waters subside. The country then quickly extends to encompass sandhills and open saltbush plains. As the seasons ebb and flow, so does our immediate environment.

The notion of place making to connect people and create social and cultural cohesion is commonly applied to urban contexts. The premise being that connection promotes understanding, well being and care of a place.  I am taken by the notion of place making relating to the landscape.  Works created out of the landscape can contribute to a collective sense of place.

2018 was an exceptionally dry year and to live here requires an acceptance and understanding of place in all its guises. If you don't bend, you may break. We sit here quietly whilst recognising the power of this land and it's arid beauty. It embraces us as we must embrace it.

Wendy McDonald,  January 2019

 

For details and an interview regarding the works click the link below:

https://koskela.com.au/blogs/news/wendy-mcdonald-quietly 

 

"Quietly" featured on The Design Files:

https://thedesignfiles.net/2019/01/art-wendymcdonald-painting-koskelagallery/

 

 

AUTUMN ART CAMP

27th & 28th April 2019

At Autumn art camp you will spend the weekend amongst the towering red gums of the Thule Lagoon. The focus of the sessions will be landscape. I will lead two days developing drawing and observation skills and using these works to create a more finished piece. For those who have attended classes previously, you can choose to use day two in the print room, editioning previously prepared plates. This camp is suitable for beginners to advanced.  

 

As well as tuition and most materials, the price of $490 pp. includes ...

 

Accommodation for Fri and Sat night - your choice of a bed in the studio cottage OR camping under the stars, in a canvas swag or tent (which we will provide for you). There are 4 places available each for the camping or cottage option, you choose! 

 

The weekend will be fully catered for, featuring fruit and veg from the farmhouse garden and other local goodies. There will be provisions for a self serve breakfast and lunch in the studio. Morning and afternoon tea served in the farmhouse garden or by the Aga in the kitchen (weather depending). The Saturday evening meal will be served under the stars by the lagoon. 

 

There will be time before and after class to  bushwalk, birdwatch, read or draw and just soak up the environment that is our beautiful farm "Glencoe". With the homestead and out buildings dating from the 1930's set amongst the trees on the banks of the ancient Thule Lagoon (which was once the Murray River), the Art Camp offers a chance to immerse yourself in our life on the farm in the "River Country".

 

** Please note that most basic drawing and watercolour materials and equipment are available, however for your painting, please bring your own choice of canvas and oil or acrylic paints and brushes.

 

 

Email Wendy at hello@wendymcdonald.com.au  for more details, or to reserve your place. Numbers for this camp will be strictly limited to ensure an intimate learning experience.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 NSW PARLIAMENT PLEIN AIR PAINTING PRIZE

 

I am excited to announce that this work,

Still Morning, Thule Lagoon

is a finalist in the NSW Parliament Plein Air prize,

showing at Parliament House,  Sydney

during  October 2017.

 

 

 

 

AT HOME, Bird's Gallery, Kew

So pleased to share that I will be exhibiting works in the new group show

AT HOME

from 29th June till 24th July.

If you are in the vicinity, pop in and say Hi to Brigita.

details at www.birdsgallery.com.au 

 

 

 

ART CAMP UPDATE:

Next camp to be held on the 29th and 30th April, 2017. 

See below for details.

Presently there are 2 cottage beds and 2 camping places left. 

Email to hello@wendymcdonald.com.au for booking enquiries.

 

 

 

 

flyer

 

Excited to announce that I am showing in this group exhibition curated by Amber Cresswell Bell, opening at Saint Cloche Gallery in Sydney on the 24th of November 2016. If you are in the vicinity, drop in and say hello! details can be found at www.ambercresswell.com

 

 

 

 

 

ART CAMPS 2017

The next art camp will be held on the 29th and 30th of April 2017 amongst the towering red gums of the Thule Lagoon, which is actually looking splendid after filling last Spring. The focus of the weekend will be Still Life, but those who prefer are very welcome to work out in the Landscape. I will lead two days developing drawing and observation skills and using these works to create a more finished piece. For those who have attended classes previously, you can choose to use day two in the print room, editioning previously prepared plates. This camp is suitable for beginners to advanced.  

 

As well as tuition and most materials, the price of $420 pp. includes ...

 

Accommodation for Fri and Sat night - your choice of a bed in the studio cottage OR camping under the stars, in a canvas swag or tent (which we will provide for you). There are 4 places available each for the camping or cottage option, you choose! 

 

The weekend will be fully catered for, featuring fruit and veg from the farmhouse garden and local Redgum Foodgroup goodies. There will be provisions for a self serve breakfast and lunch in the studio. Morning and afternoon tea served in the farmhouse garden or by the Aga in the kitchen (weather depending). The Saturday evening meal will be served under the stars by the lagoon. 

 

There will be time before and after class to kayak, bushwalk, birdwatch, read or draw and just soak up the environment that is our beautiful farm "Glencoe". With the homestead and out buildings dating from the 1930's set amongst the trees on the banks of the ancient Thule Lagoon (which was once the Murray River), the Art Camp offers a chance to immerse yourself in our life on the farm in the "River Country".

 

** Please note that all drawing, watercolour and printmaking materials will be supplied, however for your painting, please bring your own choice of canvas and oil or acrylic paints and brushes.

 

** For local students wishing to attend but not in need of accommodation, the cost for the two workshop days including morning and afternoon tea and materials will be $200. The day session times will be from 9.30am till 3.30pm. 

 

Email Wendy at hello@wendymcdonald.com.au  for more details, or to reserve your place. Numbers for this camp will be strictly limited to ensure an intimate learning experience.    

 

 

 

 

 THIS PLACE 2

 

This Place 2 will open on Friday night 1st July and be on show till Friday 8th July, at Campaspe Regional Library. The launch on Friday night the 1st will be to help celebrate the relase of the new book RISK by dear friend and talented author, Fleur Ferris. RISK is published by Random House Australia. For more information on Fleur Ferris go to www.fleurferris.com 

 

 

 

 

 

WINTER ART CAMP 2016,

JUNE 18th and 19th

 

Our WINTER ART CAMP for 2016 will be held on the 18th & 19th June, here amongst the towering red gums of the Thule Lagoon. The focus of the weekend will be Landscape. I will lead two days of working in the landscape, developing drawing and observation skills and using these works to create a more finished piece. For those who have attended classes previously, you can choose to use day two in the print room, editioning previously prepared plates. This camp is suitable for beginners to advanced.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 THIS PLACE, SOLO EXHIBITION

 

I am excited to share that I will be having a solo exhibition at The Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery in April 2016. Called "This Place" it will feature landscape and still life from here on the Thule Lagoon. An official opening will be held on Friday the 8th April from 6 till 8 pm. All welcome. RSVP Swan Hill Art Gallery http://gallery.swanhill.vic.gov.au/ .  The show will run from 5th April till 8th May 2016.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

   

 

 

ART CAMP.

JUNE 13 & 14 2015

I am excited at announce the first studio workshop for the 2015 winter/spring season. Our first ART CAMP will be held on 13 th & 14th June, here amongst the towering red gums of the Thule Lagoon. I am so thrilled that the exceptionally talented Elizabeth Barnett will lead a day teaching the art of sketchbooking, followed by a day of drypoint etching your images generated the previous day, lead by myself. Elizabeth is a painter and printmaker with a Masters in Illustration. Her work was featured in The Design Files Open House, 2014. You can find out more about Elizabeth at www.elizabethbarnett.com or www.elizabethisdrawing.blogspot.com .       

 

 

 

 

 

INSTAGRAM

You can see studio happenings and peeks of new works now @wendy_s_mcdonald on instagram.

 

 

 

DRAWING/PRINTMAKING CLASSES

Are held at the studio as demand dictates. Feel free to let me know if there is a date that you would like and I will try to schedule a class (groups of 5 upwards). Students are be encouraged to use expressive drawing techniques to create plates and spend the afternoon  printing drypoint etchings taken from them. Ages 15 upwards. Suitable beginners/advanced. $95 pp including all materials, morning and afternoon tea. For bookings/enquiries email Wendy at hello@wendymcdonald.com.au.

 

  

STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHS

 

Over the last couple of years, I have been lucky enough to share my studio space with some wonderful photographers and artists, including the amazing photographer/stylist duo Brooke Holm and Marsha Golemac.  

 

Here are some of my favourite shots of the studio taken by Brooke and Marsha (top row), with the next two rows featuring images by the very talented Cindy Power.