Skip to content


An image of Rocky outcrop, Werribee Gorge by Mary Tonkin
Alternate image of Rocky outcrop, Werribee Gorge by Mary Tonkin

Mary Tonkin

(Australia 1973 – )

Rocky outcrop, Werribee Gorge
Place of origin
Media category
Materials used
charcoal, collaged patches of paper with corrections on ten joined sheets of Velin Arches paper

225.0 x 460.0 cm sheet, overall; 243.0 x 482.0 x 14.0 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed and dated u.r. corner verso, pencil "... 2000/ .../ Mary Tonkin/ ...".
Gift of the Trustees of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation 2002
Accession number
© Mary Tonkin
Not on display
Further information

This drawing was made over a period of several months in late 2000 and early 2001, when Tonkin began drawing at Werribee Gorge, near Melbourne. Its subject is an outcrop of rocks at the end of a ridge.

'It is a dry landscape, stunted red and yellow box gums twist their way out of rocky ridges and are laden with dollops of mistletoe in the gullies. Its great attraction was that it is such an intimate landscape. The canopy is very low, and there is very little undergrowth – allowing a clear look in to deeper space … I felt that I wanted to make work about the experience of being immersed in the land (Mary Tonkin, 2002)'.

Working from the centre of the composition, Tonkin added more sheets of paper as the drawing demanded. The drawing comprises ten parts, with additions at top and bottom as well as collage additions made to the surface as part of a ‘correcting process’.

This work won the Dobell Prize for Drawing in 2002 and was acquired by the Gallery in 2002.

Bibliography (7)

Paul Gray, Herald Sun (Australia), 'Drawn to success', pg. 92, Port Melbourne, 17 Jun 2002, 92 (illus.).

Hendrik Kolenberg, Contemporary Australian Drawing: 20 years of the Dobell Prize for Drawing, 'Introduction', pg. 6-14, Sydney, 2012, 7, 38, 39 (illus.), 61.

Hendrik Kolenberg, The Dobell Prize for Drawing: 1993-2004, ‘Introduction: the first ten years’, pg. 8-9, Sydney, 2004, 6–7 (illus.), 9, 34, 35 (illus.), 50, 53.

Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, 'A fine harvest of drawings: legacy of an exceptional draughtsman', pg. 28-31, Newtown, Nov 2011, 30.

Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, 'Drawing a winner: a decade of Dobell prizes shows us how and why', pg. 24-27, Newtown, Aug 2003, 24-25 (illus.).

Inga Walton., Artist Profile, 'Judgment calls: Mary Tonkin at the NGV', pg. 106-109, St Leonards, Aug 2013, 107 (illus.), 108, 109.

Kit Wise, Artlink, vol.25, no.2, 'Australian drawing now: labouring lightly', pg. 34-39, Adelaide, Mar 2005, 36.

Exhibition history (4)

Drawing, Monash University Gallery, Clayton, Aug 2001–Sep 2001

MFA Examination Exhibition, Monash University Gallery, Clayton, Apr 2002 -

Dobell Prize for Drawing 2002, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Jun 2002–21 Jul 2002

Contemporary Australian Drawing: 20 Years of the Dobell Drawing Prize, National Art School, Sydney, 29 Aug 2013–06 Oct 2013

Art Set
Add this work to your own Art Set.