Exhibition: Shelley McKenzie, The Anakies
"Northwest of Geelong are three volcanic cones, The Anakies, that last erupted around 1.5 million years ago. Known by some as the “little hills” or “three sisters” they are now the site of substantial quarry operations with the southernmost cone destined for complete removal. These works consider activity in the surrounds of these beautiful, sentinel forms. This sense of place is expressed in interior scenes and external scenes. Fragments of life and land that I see around The Anakies I have picked, unpicked and recombined to make physical and psychological scapes.
The materials I have used differ in their properties- the fluidity of ink, the control of the markers and the layered transparency of paint. The making process is like a call and response. It invites gesture, consideration and amendment until a sense of doneness is achieved.”
Shelley McKenzie studied Art and Art Therapy. Her practice is underpinned by the therapeutic benefits of making art and its ability to mobilize aspects of being. The immersive experience of living on 100 acres of bushland outside Geelong is reflected in the themes and motifs of her work. Her work explores the natural environment, the home, the domestic environment and objects as holding places. Objects real and imagined are placed in space; shapes and patterns are simultaneously part of the physical environment and emotional geography.
An admirer of the work of Matisse for its joyous use of color, textured interiors and organization of space, McKenzie continues to explore the immediacy of her world through the push and pull of layers of paint.
Her work is held in both public and private collections.
I have chosen a vibrant colour palette where the colours talk to each other and record the sometimes busy, sometimes stoic, sometimes grim, sometimes lovely aspects of life and death around The Anakies.