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This is an evolving online exhibition, more works will be added as they are completed – check back from time to time.
(175) Chrissie McDonald - The Story of Our World is Told in Rocks
“The story of our world is told in rocks”. The last sentence on my selected Encyclopedia page really resonated with me. I have scrambled over rocks since childhood. Walked along beaches, in rivers and on mountains. Often collecting small interesting rocks, whether for their colour, texture, shape or patterning. I create small ephemeral installations in my house. I hold them, feel them and gaze at their beauty. Where have they come from originally? What have they witnessed in this world? How many rivers have they tumbled through? Or is it a volcano they were thrown from? So many questions, but they are not necessarily answerable. Sometimes I find rocks that are flora and fauna fossils.
Apart from my collection, I have many photographs of rocks in situ.
My watercolour painting is an aerial view of a beautiful lichen covered granite rock. It sits in Tidal River at Wilsons Promontory, Victoria. A place often called “God’s country”. Massive rock formations, wonderful bushland and magic beaches make the “The Prom” very special.
Granite is a composite of small rocks bigger than two millimeters. It is not used in building because cutting it neatly is difficult but is a wonderful addition to landscaping. As the surface is usually rough it holds moisture, enabling lichen and moss to colonize. Very slowly they digests the granite and release minerals for plants. Amazing!
My rock is so old, millions of years old! What secret stories does it tell? Millions of stories!
My painting practice evolved slowly. I trained as a printmaker but painting and drawing is what I do now.
I tend to work in themes and on self-directed projects. This probably relates to my teaching background.
For most of my life I have lived near bushland and the sea with native and now an indigenous garden. I have always holidayed near rivers, mountains or the ocean. These vistas have influenced my work. In recent years I have watched the bushland around me slowly deteriorate. It is of great concern to me, informs my recent work and has become a major driver in my need to paint.
Connected to my landscape paintings is another more imagined theme. Its focus is the ancestry of our family and very much a work in progress. Many are descended from convicts and early settlers in Australia. Life was hard, but even harder for Aboriginal people. I am creating narrative works to tell some of this story.
My early practice focused on watercolour and drawing mediums. Now I work more often with acrylic on canvas. I explore colour in the real world. Not reinventing it but seeing and expressing the varieties and subtleties in different lights and seasons. The texture and shape of a brush stroke is very important to my painting style. My work is recognizable but not realistic. Often it is a compilation of many images. There is always a story behind my work. Sometimes recognizable, sometimes needing an explanation.
Link to Chrissie’s Art Aviso profile HERE
Chrissie was supplied with the following page from Newnes’ Pictorial Knowledge Encyclopedia:
The story of the World in the days of long ago
Where the Earth’s story is written – How Rocks have grown