Mackay environment shines in four new Artspace exhibitions

The Leap, Cape Hillsborough, Eungella, North Eton, Kinchant Dam, the Kommo Toera Trail and dozens of other iconic local locations feature in Artspace Mackay’s latest exhibitions.

During 2019 and 2020, prominent North Queensland artist Ron McBurnie completed an extended artist residency with Artspace Mackay, capturing landscapes and views of the region ‘en plein air’ (in the open air).

Mayor Greg Williamson said Ron’s was one of four exhibitions opening this Friday (February 26) at Artspace Mackay that had been curated in-house by the Artspace Mackay team.

He said each shared a common theme of exploring our region and its environment.

“Anyone who is familiar with our region will feel a deep appreciation for Ron McBurnie’s exhibition In Search of Arcadia,” Mayor Williamson said.

“Ron has not only captured many of our hidden gems, like rustic country houses and ancient gnarled trees, but also our more famous landscapes and environments, like Eungella’s tree arch, The Leap and Greenmount Homestead,” he said.

“However, it’s a testament to the skill of the artist and the intricacy of his works that he not only captures the image of these landscapes but also their essence.

“His works definitely evoke an emotional response – in fact, the Artspace team are actually working with Mackay Tourism to incorporate them into an artist trail, as they really do make you yearn to visit the locations depicted.”

Ron McBurnie: In Search of Arcadia will be on show in the FIELD Engineers Gallery until May 16.

Also opening today is A Changing Ecology in the Foundation Gallery.

Artspace Mackay director Tracey Heathwood said this exhibition was curated from historical and contemporary works held in the Mackay Regional Council Art Collection and Mackay Regional Council Libraries’ Heritage Collection.

“The exhibition explores representations of Mackay and greater Queensland’s flora and fauna since colonisation,” Ms Heathwood said.

“There is a great selection of early local glass plate negatives, historic botanical illustrations and floral still lifes alongside Indigenous voices including Danie Mellor, Fiona Foley and Archie Moore.”

Also open now at Artspace Mackay is Tony Druery: Horizons, an exhibition that showcases many of Tony’s well-loved fish-eye cityscape works alongside unexhibited pieces to commemorate his legacy within the local arts community.

Dylan Mooney: The Wall, an exciting artist in residence program using the Artspace foyer wall, is also now complete and open to the public.

Dylan’s work shows traditional Yuwi shields being returned to country, with the shields depicted amongst local native forests.