Wanton, Wild & Unimagined

01/12/2016 - 19/08/2019

  • Flow (detail)
    Alison McDonald Flow (detail) , 2011
    Materials
    Up-cycled plastic lids & cable ties
    Dimensions
    1200x700cm
    Image Credit
    Image by Through the Looking Glass studios

About the exhibition

'Wanton, Wild & Unimagined' is a playful exhibition of sculptured recycled plastics that stirs the imagination and evokes environmental reflection.

Environmental artist Alison McDonald has spent many hours manipulating the humble plastic bottle, and collecting thousands of plastic lids to make a variety of unimagined and impossible creations inspired by plants, oceans and John Wyndham’s book ‘The Day of the Triffids’.

McDonald’s artwork sits at the junction of sculpture, consumer culture and environmental concern; utilising multiples of individual recycled materials to create new forms and perhaps re-shape our thinking about plastic and its effect on our environment. McDonald’s own version of the 'Triffids' manipulate plastic bottles into large and colourful-looking plants to such an extent that their original form is lost, whereas large-scale works such as 'Flow' and 'Global' leave the original form intact so we can see the impact of small plastic items on an enormous scale.

By converting masses of everyday objects into visually aesthetic conceptual discoveries, McDonald’s artwork communicates the optimism in regenerating rubbish, whilst raising questions about the relationship we have with plastic and its supposed sustainability.

About the artists

Originally from a Victorian artistic family that nurtured her creativity from an early age, Alison McDonald is now a practicing artist based in Townsville, north Queensland. She regularly exhibits new artwork at home, interstate and internationally.

McDonald completed a Master of Art in Public Space at RMIT (Melbourne) and a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Hons) in Sculpture and Painting from James Cook University (JCU). She taught sculpture at JCU for several years and currently teaches sculpture at TAFE.

In 2012 McDonald did a residency in Aberystwyth, Wales and in 2009 and 2014 did a Chinese residency at Red Gate in Beijing.

McDonald’s artwork sits at the junction of sculpture, consumer culture and environmental concern. The artworks invite the viewer to consider why the art forms created from multiples of individual recycled materials, embedded with history, are made of what they are. The recycled materials used play a critical role in conveying the intended connotations. By converting masses of everyday objects into visually aesthetic conceptual discoveries, my artwork communicates the optimism in regenerating rubbish. Within my artworks, I aim to stimulate the history embedded in the object and its initial attractions and final deficiencies.

Touring Venues
and Dates

Partners

A travelling exhibition organised by Umbrella Studio contemporary arts, toured by Museums & Galleries Queensland.

Sponsors

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government's Visions of Australia program; and supported by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments.