Mary Tonkin – ‘The Ranges / 3 Perspectives’ at Burrinja

In News May 14, 2021

Mary Tonkin’s landscape paintings will be featured in an upcoming exhibition The Ranges / 3 Perspectives at Burrinja alongside works by Fred Williams and Miles Evergood.

All three artists explore and reflect on the vivid and lush natural environment of the Dandenong Ranges. Collectively, the artists represent over 100 years of landscape painting from the early 20th century to today, showcasing three distinctly different perspectives of a place each called home.

Mary Tonkin’s epic 18 meter long painting Ramble, Kalorama  2017-19 will be exhibited alongside the pencil study and two ceramic pieces.

Ramble, Kalorama was recently exhibited at Whitehorse Artspace in Boxhill in 2020 and prior to this, exhibited for the first time at Australian Galleries, Melbourne in 2019. Australian Galleries look forward to showcasing this incredible painting at Sydney Contemporary in September 2021.

The exhibition at Burrinja opens on Saturday 15 May and is current until Saturday 4 July.

For more information, click here.

‘Ramble, Kalorama’ 2017-19 oil on linen 180 x 1890cm is the culmination of more than ten years of drawing and painting around the problem of how to make a work that conveys the immersive and somewhat episodic experience of being in the bush. Even if I’m standing in one spot to draw or paint I move about, my point of view, relationship to forms, light and the seasons all change. The previously seen impinges on the present and all the internal stuff I bring to it is in flux. I ramble about and try to make sense of it all, in a kind of ecstatic reverie.

This work of 21 panels, each 180 x 90 cm, was all painted en plein air in an area of about 8 x 10 sq m, much of it a kind of log corral of long fallen trees. It is just a little way into the bush from a spring-fed dam on my family’s rare bulb farm; where I grew up and where I have my studio. This painting is not a continuous panorama, but rather it loops through the space, doubling back and repeating forms, overlapping various points of view, ending with what is in reality the entry to this little haven, a kind of
somersault of tree ferns.

I love this bush. I love its particular chaos and mouldering smell, I love its intimacy – how it envelops and embraces, and its grandeur – the sense of a tree time-scale and natural rhythms beyond human ken. I love that sometimes it sparkles and dances, at other times is quiet and almost withdrawn. I’m not sure where or what I’d be without its sustaining presence. We all need these natural wellsprings.

– Mary Tonkin, 2019

Image above: Ramble, Kalorama  2017-19  oil on linen  180 x 1890 cm