Fiona Macdonald


Written by Tanya Geddes
08 Wednesday 08th April 2009


Subtle hued organisms floating dreamily like the insides of lava lamps created a serene mood. Forms were changing while structured pastel backgrounds gave a stark comparison.

However, the mood soon changed to become slightly eerie. Despite a startling fluorescent yellow setting, thick black branches invade one piece. The gooey layers of black acrylic imply a hidden darkness. Macdonald explores this in her bigger works where murkier backgrounds and more convoluted images dominate. But exactly what these images are is anyone’s guess. Gone are the calm floating organisms, instead they are replaced by a heap of crooked tree branches and slashes of paint. Tangled forms are layered and bleed into one another now taking a more aggressive turn.

Glory Be

Using techniques such as dribbling paint juxtaposed with rigid structures, she creates a tension between reality and the imaginary; what is static and what is in flux. Nature and its original peacefulness is compromised. Here it appears to be battling for survival in a disordered environment.

What is clear is that scales, forms and sculptures are indeterminate. Even though your eyes cannot be sure what they are viewing, you sense unease behind the layers of paint. And with climate change being hot on everyone’s lips, Macdonald’s work takes on a new meaning - becoming immediately relevant.


Fiona Macdonald is on display at Maddox Arts until 2 May.

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