'I ride a bicycle in Sydney. This is more or less me being bullied by a large 4WD which is how it is on our roads.' (Noel McKenna: polluting the acid - a selection of etchings and lithographs 1997-2013, Darren Knight Gallery online catalogue, 2013)
Noel McKenna was born in Brisbane and studied at the Brisbane College of Art from 1976-78, before moving to Sydney in 1981 to undergo further studies at the Alexander Mackie College. He remained in Sydney, forging a career over three decades.
He has made prints with a number of workshops, including Griffith University (Qld), Alexander Mackie College/ COFA; Tamarind Print Workshop (Sydney), Duck Print Workshop (Port Kembla) and Cicada Press (Sydney), as well as printing and editioning himself.
McKenna's subjects - which include animals, domestic life, suburban scenes and narratives - are drawn from everyday life, observations made as the artist walks and cycles through sub/urban and regional landscapes, and found images/publications.
He frequently relies on photographs, including those he has taken as well as found; the work has a 'naive' quality but its overall conceptual and compositional complexity challenges any suggestion it lacks artistic or visual sophistication. His imagery is charged with poetry and pathos, and an essential humanity. McKenna rarely seeks to analyse or explain his work beyond the barest description of its content - this is left to the viewer.
etching, drypoint, aquatint, printed in black ink with plate tone on white wove paper
39.5 x 50.4 cm platemark; 56.6 x 66.0 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., pencil "N. McKenna 08".
Purchased with funds provided by the Australian Prints, Drawings and Watercolours Benefactors Fund 2013
Not on display
© Noel McKenna. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.
Shown in 1 exhibition
Noel McKenna: polluting the acid - a selection of etchings and lithographs 1977-2013, Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, Waterloo, 15 Jun 2013–13 Jul 2013
Referenced in 1 publication
Darren Knight Gallery (Compilator), Noel McKenna: polluting the acid - a selection of etchings and lithographs 1997-2013, Sydney, 2013, n.pag. (illus.). viewed 11.02.2014, http://www.darrenknightgallery.com/artists/mckenna/pollutingtheacid2013/pollutingtheacid2013forPDF.pdf