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

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With A Rising Star In The Australian Ballet, Riley Lapham

We went behind the scenes with professional ballerina Riley Lapham as the company brings their 'Don Quixote' to the stage!
Christina Karras

On The Market

A Celestial House Designed To Capture The Night Sky Hits The Market

This home designed by Peter Stutchbury features an open-air skylight that allows for stargazing without leaving home - and it's for sale!
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

The Sculptural Fabric + Metal Works Of Architect-Trained Artist, Annie Paxton

Melbourne based Annie Paxton creates mesmerising sculptural works made from silk, fabric, aluminium, steel and chain mail!

Interiors

A ‘Little Big House’ Designed For The Whole Family

A Melbourne family home by Maike Design where the priorities of parents and children take equal billing.

News

An Inspiring Photography Exhibition By Catherine Opie Is Coming To Heide

Heide Museum of Modern Art is hosting the first major Australian showcase of renown American photographer Catherine Opie.
Sponsored

On The Market

A Luxuriously Modern Home For Sale In Sydney's Forest Lodge

This new home has everything from smart-home features to solar and an electric car charger, alongside a dreamy outdoor entertaining area!
Christina Karras

Apartments

Inside A 100-Year-Old Apartment Building, In The Heart Of Melbourne’s CBD

We tour two unique apartments inside Temple Court, an elegant 1920s building nestled on Melbourne's iconic Collins Street!
Christina Karras

On The Market

This Designer’s Family Home Hides A Rooftop Terrace, And It’s For Sale

The Melbourne house of owner-designer Dan Gayfer is on the market, but this Edwardian's sweeping extension is full of surprises.
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Playful Renovation + Extension Of A 1910s Edwardian Weatherboard Cottage

This once lacklustre Edwardian cottage has been given new life thanks to a renovation and extension by Architect George Meek, of Studio Meek...

Homes

Artist Gemma Leslie’s 1880s Mediterranean-Inspired Family Home

The historic home of artist Gemma Leslie and Mike Chambers is a little slice of Tuscany... in Melbourne!

Sustainable Homes

A South Gippsland Home Both Protected From + Inspired By The Elements

A textured brick wall wraps around three pavilions in Fish Creek House, sheltering the home from the ferocious winds, while capturing stunni...

Creative People

The ‘Alien-esque’ Cartoon-Inspired Ceramics Of Elizabeth Lewis

Elizabeth Lewis makes surrealist-inspired ceramics… in a colour palette reminiscent of Saturday morning cartoons!

Giveaway

Introducing Designer Rugs x Castle’s Colourful New Collection + Your Chance To WIN!

Brighten up your space with your pick from Designer Rugs x CASTLE's fun-filled collection - enter the giveaway here!
Christina Karras

News

The Museum Of Contemporary Art Australia Has A New All-Female Display

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia is giving focus to eight unique female artists in its impressive collection!
Sponsored

Climate

Everything You Need To Know About Creating An All-Electric Home

Switching from gas to all-electric appliances makes for a more sustainable, safe, healthy, and affordable home. Here's how to get it done!

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

Climate

Everything You Need To Know About Creating An All-Electric Home

Switching from gas to all-electric appliances makes for a more sustainable, safe, healthy, and affordable home. Here's how to get it done!

News

The Museum Of Contemporary Art Australia Has A New All-Female Display

The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia is giving focus to eight unique female artists in its impressive collection!
Sponsored

Apartments

Inside A 100-Year-Old Apartment Building, In The Heart Of Melbourne’s CBD

We tour two unique apartments inside Temple Court, an elegant 1920s building nestled on Melbourne's iconic Collins Street!
Christina Karras

Creative People

The ‘Alien-esque’ Cartoon-Inspired Ceramics Of Elizabeth Lewis

Elizabeth Lewis makes surrealist-inspired ceramics… in a colour palette reminiscent of Saturday morning cartoons!

Interiors

A ‘Little Big House’ Designed For The Whole Family

A Melbourne family home by Maike Design where the priorities of parents and children take equal billing.

News

An Inspiring Photography Exhibition By Catherine Opie Is Coming To Heide

Heide Museum of Modern Art is hosting the first major Australian showcase of renown American photographer Catherine Opie.
Sponsored

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With A Rising Star In The Australian Ballet, Riley Lapham

We went behind the scenes with professional ballerina Riley Lapham as the company brings their 'Don Quixote' to the stage!
Christina Karras

On The Market

A Luxuriously Modern Home For Sale In Sydney's Forest Lodge

This new home has everything from smart-home features to solar and an electric car charger, alongside a dreamy outdoor entertaining area!
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Playful Renovation + Extension Of A 1910s Edwardian Weatherboard Cottage

This once lacklustre Edwardian cottage has been given new life thanks to a renovation and extension by Architect George Meek, of Studio Meek...

Sustainable Homes

A South Gippsland Home Both Protected From + Inspired By The Elements

A textured brick wall wraps around three pavilions in Fish Creek House, sheltering the home from the ferocious winds, while capturing stunni...

On The Market

A Celestial House Designed To Capture The Night Sky Hits The Market

This home designed by Peter Stutchbury features an open-air skylight that allows for stargazing without leaving home - and it's for sale!
Christina Karras

Homes

Artist Gemma Leslie’s 1880s Mediterranean-Inspired Family Home

The historic home of artist Gemma Leslie and Mike Chambers is a little slice of Tuscany... in Melbourne!

On The Market

This Designer’s Family Home Hides A Rooftop Terrace, And It’s For Sale

The Melbourne house of owner-designer Dan Gayfer is on the market, but this Edwardian's sweeping extension is full of surprises.
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

The Sculptural Fabric + Metal Works Of Architect-Trained Artist, Annie Paxton

Melbourne based Annie Paxton creates mesmerising sculptural works made from silk, fabric, aluminium, steel and chain mail!

Giveaway

Introducing Designer Rugs x Castle’s Colourful New Collection + Your Chance To WIN!

Brighten up your space with your pick from Designer Rugs x CASTLE's fun-filled collection - enter the giveaway here!
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