This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

‘Quietly’ Suspended Landscapes By Wendy McDonald

Creative People

Following a year of extreme drought in 2018, artist and farmer Wendy McDonald describes using her painting practice as a way to respond to the extreme, beautiful and challenging landscape.

From the cracked creek beds and open saltbush plains surrounding Thule Lagoon on the Murray River floodplain, Wendy has produced a new body of work, Quietly. Opening at Koskela in Sydney this past weekend, the series embraces the shifting qualities of place. For Wendy, love of the land means understanding the environment in all of its guises: ‘if you don’t bend, you may break.’

28th January, 2019

Sandhill and Saltbush, Noorong, acrylic on linen, 122 x 101.5cm.

Wendy on the farm. Photo – courtesy of Koskela.

Left: Black Box, Thule, acrylic on linen, 36 x 36cm. Right: Dry December, acrylic on linen, 36 x 36cm.

Artist Wendy McDonald with her works from ‘Quietly’ on at Koskela Gallery in Sydney. Photo – courtesy of Koskela.

Looking Out, January, acrylic on linen, 36 x 36cm.

Night Lagoon with Tall Trees, acrylic on linen, 81.5 x 91.5cm.

A pastel palette in Wendy’s studio. Photo – courtesy of Koskela.

Left: Study, Hot Night, acrylic on linen, 26 x 26cm. Right: Study, Track to Dam, acrylic on linen, 26 x 26cm.

Miriam McGarry
Monday 28th January 2019

‘To be a farmer requires the ability to be adaptive and resilient… and to derive a deep satisfaction from the cycle of input, growth and creation.’ – Wendy McDonald

Wendy McDonald studied Education and Psychology at University, but has always been drawn to a creative practice. When teaching in rural areas, she relished the opportunities to share her artistic streak with students, and later developed community arts workshops for adults. Ten years ago, Wendy transformed a farm cottage into a designated arts studio, where she could commit more time and energy to her own painting.

Wendy’s artistic work is underpinned by her farming profession, and she describes these two threads of her life as ‘so entwined, it would be impossible to separate them.’ She explains ‘to be a farmer requires the ability to be adaptive and resilient… and to derive a deep satisfaction from the cycle of input, growth and creation.’

This deep understanding of the ebb and flow of natural processes has informed Wendy’s latest body of work, Quietly. The works provide the viewer a hazy sundrenched glimpse into small moments of Wendy’s local landscapes. The exhibition is directly informed by the 2018 droughts that have reshaped the Murray River floodplain, and challenged the lives of farmers and residents. Through Wendy’s loving gaze, she demonstrates place-making as shifting and changing, in relationship to a ever changing environment.

The works in Quietly have an ambient quality – a milky stillness, and a respectful grandeur. Wendy’s work, inspired by the writing of Bruce Pascoe and Eric Rolls ‘sits here quietly whilst recognising the power of this land and its arid beauty. It embraces us and we must embrace it.’

Quietly by Wendy McDonald
January 26th to February 24th
Koskela
1/85 Dunning Ave
Rosebery NSW

 

This Week

Shopping

These Deliciously Colourful Picnic Rugs Are Made From Recycled Plastic!

The season of picnicking has arrived, and we've found the best rugs to see you through pizzas in the park and fish and chips on the beach.

Interiors

A New Kitchen Designed To Look Old, With No White Joinery In Sight!

A Reservoir, Melbourne kitchen with the look of the past and functionality of the present.

Shopping

11 Of The Best Places To Score Vintage Furniture + Homewares

Hunting down everything from 70s modular sofas, to retro gems from Europe, see the 11 vintage sellers and stores we love!
Christina Karras

News

Don't Miss Major Discounts On Designer Furniture At DOMO's Black Friday Sale!

Here’s everything you need to know about DOMO’s Black Friday Sale, with 20% off iconic designer brands, for one day only!
Sponsored

Homes

A Melbourne Family’s Ever Changing ‘Light House’

An innovative, sculptural screen invites dynamic shadows into the family home of Andrew Jaques, and Christina Chiodo, renovated by Layan.

Shopping

Say Hello To Your New Favourite Summer Shoes With This FRANKiE4 Giveaway!

Everything you need to know for your chance to win one of five pairs of shoes (of your choice!) from Australian label FRANKiE4!

Architecture

A Floating House Entangled In Brush Box Trees On North Stradbroke Island

The tree canopy takes precedence over ocean views in this holiday home for three families, designed by Conrad Gargett architects.

Stays

An Architect’s Handcrafted Home + Bathhouse Turned Unique Accommodation

Take a look inside Liptrap Loft—a one-of-a-kind cabin with a Japanese-inspired bathhouse in Walkerville, Victoria.

Interiors

A 1915 Horse Stables Turned Family Home In The Adelaide Hills

SpaceCraft transformed a circa 1915 horse stable into a family’s elevated version of a traditional farmhouse in the Adelaide Hills.
Amelia Barnes
  18 hours ago

Studio Visit

The Melbourne Designer Creating Clever Furniture, For Small Spaces

Meet designer Katrina Ramm of Ka Ra Studio, who's playful pieces that that make the most of the ‘precious space’ inside our homes!
Christina Karras

Design Eye

Architect Luke Fry, On Modernising A Heritage Home

Architect Luke Fry shares his advice on sensitively balancing old and new, when modernising a heritage home!

News

See Ethiopian-Norwegian Artist Olana Janfa's Colourful, Debut Solo Show!

The Melbourne-based painter’s first solo show is opening tonight, exploring themes of language, race and status in his playful works.
Christina Karras

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Kate Reid, Founder Of Lune Croissanterie

A peek into the inner workings of Lune's ‘croissant Formula One team’ - and what this impressive entrepreneur gets up to in a day!
Christina Karras

Interiors

How To Turn Home Inspiration Into Reality, With Style Sourcebook

This free web-based mood board tool is the perfect place to refine your interior design vision. We show you how it's done!
Lucy Feagins
  2 hours ago

Gardens

A Sensitively Built Coastal Garden, Designed To Look ‘Untouched’

The Garden Social carefully designed a garden, built into waterfront sand dunes on NSW's South Coast, where the serene seascape beyond takes...
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Studio Visit

A Brisbane Painter’s Misson To Save The ‘Queenslander’

A studio visit with Debra Hood, the artist creating captivating streetscapes of her beloved hometown.
Elle Murrell

Studio Visit

Cressida Campbell’s Intimate Reflections, Ahead Of Melbourne Art Fair

A studio visit in Sydney’s Bronte with one of Australia’s most esteemed artists, as she prepares an eagerly-awaited exhibition in Melbou...

Art

Two Voices, One Tjukurpa

The mother-daughter relationship of Anangu women Puna Yanima and Linda Puna is explored for the first time in a public gallery setting.
David Hagger

This Week

Architecture

A Floating House Entangled In Brush Box Trees On North Stradbroke Island

The tree canopy takes precedence over ocean views in this holiday home for three families, designed by Conrad Gargett architects.

Gardens

A Sensitively Built Coastal Garden, Designed To Look ‘Untouched’

The Garden Social carefully designed a garden, built into waterfront sand dunes on NSW's South Coast, where the serene seascape beyond takes...
Christina Karras

News

Don't Miss Major Discounts On Designer Furniture At DOMO's Black Friday Sale!

Here’s everything you need to know about DOMO’s Black Friday Sale, with 20% off iconic designer brands, for one day only!
Sponsored

Homes

A Melbourne Family’s Ever Changing ‘Light House’

An innovative, sculptural screen invites dynamic shadows into the family home of Andrew Jaques, and Christina Chiodo, renovated by Layan.

Design Eye

Architect Luke Fry, On Modernising A Heritage Home

Architect Luke Fry shares his advice on sensitively balancing old and new, when modernising a heritage home!

Stays

An Architect’s Handcrafted Home + Bathhouse Turned Unique Accommodation

Take a look inside Liptrap Loft—a one-of-a-kind cabin with a Japanese-inspired bathhouse in Walkerville, Victoria.

Shopping

Say Hello To Your New Favourite Summer Shoes With This FRANKiE4 Giveaway!

Everything you need to know for your chance to win one of five pairs of shoes (of your choice!) from Australian label FRANKiE4!

Interiors

A 1915 Horse Stables Turned Family Home In The Adelaide Hills

SpaceCraft transformed a circa 1915 horse stable into a family’s elevated version of a traditional farmhouse in the Adelaide Hills.
Amelia Barnes
  18 hours ago

News

See Ethiopian-Norwegian Artist Olana Janfa's Colourful, Debut Solo Show!

The Melbourne-based painter’s first solo show is opening tonight, exploring themes of language, race and status in his playful works.
Christina Karras

Interiors

How To Turn Home Inspiration Into Reality, With Style Sourcebook

This free web-based mood board tool is the perfect place to refine your interior design vision. We show you how it's done!
Lucy Feagins
  2 hours ago

Interiors

A New Kitchen Designed To Look Old, With No White Joinery In Sight!

A Reservoir, Melbourne kitchen with the look of the past and functionality of the present.

Shopping

These Deliciously Colourful Picnic Rugs Are Made From Recycled Plastic!

The season of picnicking has arrived, and we've found the best rugs to see you through pizzas in the park and fish and chips on the beach.

Shopping

11 Of The Best Places To Score Vintage Furniture + Homewares

Hunting down everything from 70s modular sofas, to retro gems from Europe, see the 11 vintage sellers and stores we love!
Christina Karras

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Kate Reid, Founder Of Lune Croissanterie

A peek into the inner workings of Lune's ‘croissant Formula One team’ - and what this impressive entrepreneur gets up to in a day!
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

The Melbourne Designer Creating Clever Furniture, For Small Spaces

Meet designer Katrina Ramm of Ka Ra Studio, who's playful pieces that that make the most of the ‘precious space’ inside our homes!
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Studio Visit

A Brisbane Painter’s Misson To Save The ‘Queenslander’

A studio visit with Debra Hood, the artist creating captivating streetscapes of her beloved hometown.
Elle Murrell

Studio Visit

Cressida Campbell’s Intimate Reflections, Ahead Of Melbourne Art Fair

A studio visit with one of Australia’s most esteemed artists, as she prepares an eagerly-awaited exhibition.

Art

Two Voices, One Tjukurpa

The mother-daughter relationship of Anangu women Puna Yanima and Linda Puna is explored for the first time in a public gallery setting.
David Hagger

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net