When an artist is working out of an Ibizan studio with serious Mad Max: Fury Road vibes, chances are he’s working on something pretty interesting.
Cue Aussie painter William Mackinnon’s latest suite of dreamy psychological landscapes, showing at Brisbane’s Jan Murphy Gallery this month.
The artist moved to Ibiza just over a year ago for L.O.V.E (aww!). He and his now fiancé – luxury eyewear designer Sunshine Bertrand – call the island’s postcard-perfect north forest home. It’s neatly tucked away from Ibiza’s world-famous party area, but a short flight to pretty much every European hotspot. (In other words, heaven.)
William’s studio takes the form of enormous kilometre-long bunkers set into the mountains, reclaimed and set up as a creative collective. ‘There are hippie performers who live there with kids and dogs,’ he says. ‘There’s a huge swimming pool and loads of fig trees… it’s a heady mix of influences and cultures, which I love!’
Through his practice, William seeks to convey what it’s like to live in the modern world. His paintings are often deeply personal, shifting and changing based on his own life experiences.
‘Whole shows have been like a break-up album, filled with lonely dark roads,’ he says. Other works are full of nostalgia, elation, and playful painterly invention. It’s pretty tough not to be totally drawn into Will’s World of light and shadow, whimsy and wistfulness.
The artist’s latest show, ‘Twin Palms’, takes much of its cue from his new island paradise. But it’s also deeply influenced by a recent architectural pilgrimage to the U.S., where he checked out some incredible Frank Lloyd Wright buildings and the glorious Palm Springs.
‘It was pretty weird going there… it was kind of like being in one of my paintings,’ says the artist. Though his works reference a smorgasbord of different source material, the iconic desert city seemed to have it all in the one place – a very real world of pools, palms, twinkling lights and modernist architecture. ‘It was almost too much!’ he adds.
2018 is shaping up to be a cracker of a year for this artist. With collaborative works and a Wynne Prize submission on the way, another solo show at Adelaide’s Hugo Michel Gallery in November and a few international trips on the cards, we don’t think Will’s World will be strapped for fresh inspiration any time soon!
‘Twin Palms’ by William Mackinnon
February 27th to March 24th
Jan Murphy Gallery
486 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.