Bombala Track—Brett McMahon

by Michelle

Bombala Track
Rex Irwin Gallery
38 Queen St
24 August -September 18

One of the country’s most exciting abstract painters, Brett McMahon exhibits his latest series Bombala Track at the Rex Irwin gallery in Woolhara this month. McMahon’s organic style imbues the inanimate subject with new vitality. His work has progressed from industrial surfaces and textured urban landscapes to coastal environments. His art derives from seemingly insignificant details the eye catches, which resonate with perspective and emotional intensity. Fluidity and strength are features of his genderless style.

Bombala track explores the tensile linear narratives of the paperbark swamps and bush reserves at the southern end of Dudley beach in Newcastle, where McMahon lives with his young family. The track with its coastal lagoon is a favourite walk for the artist. He describes the process of drawing from the natural formations and serpiginous patterns:
“I was in the bush every couple of days drawing and experiencing the bush directly through different light and weather conditions. I find the time I spend in the bush rewarding and I always return to the studio with something new to paint.”

Sketched in ink the lines of trees, trunks and branches are transcribed on to heavier watercolour paper using tools such as brushes, scrapers, pencils, oil sticks. McMahon is known for his manipulation of canvas, bringing to life the weathering and embedding of landscape. The interwoven trunks balance energetic shape with sobering tones. McMahon’s work is exhibited nationally and internationally in private and corporate collections and galleries.