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Australian art

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Between two logs, Kalorama



Mary Tonkin


1973 -


Drawing is integral to Mary Tonkin’s practice and the most powerful way of conveying her experience. She makes drawings to define and develop ideas for paintings, and to help her make sense of her cognitive and emotional responses to a subject. She describes her drawings as ‘internal landscapes’ that express something about what it is to be present over time.

The subject of 'Between two logs, Kalorama' is a small pocket within a grove of trees at Kalorama, a farm for rare bulbs and flowers run by her family, in the Dandenong Ranges east of Melbourne. The farm is surrounded by national park with dense fern gullies and magnificent soaring forests. The drawing was made in the bush over many months and changed with the seasons and shifting light of day. Tonkin looked about her in all directions as she drew to capture her subject from multiple points of view. The large-scale drawing is paradoxically intimate and grand, and the viewer becomes immersed in an all-encompassing experience of a very particular place.

The drawing was made over three seasons, from late winter to midsummer, preceded by a large number of sketchbook drawings and four pencil studies, all made entirely in the bush in early 2013. These sketches provided a template for the larger charcoal drawing, some of which were marked up with principal forms in the studio before being taken out into the bush for completion, while other sheets were taken out blank for direct drawing in charcoal.


Place where the work was made

Kalorama Victoria Australia



Media category


Materials used

charcoal on paper


180.0 x 1405.0 cm overall (26 sheets)

Signature & date

Signed and dated verso, l.r. corner sheet 2, pencil "...2013-14/...Mary Tonkin".


John Gillespie Bequest Fund 2015 with assistance from Australian Galleries


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Mary Tonkin

Works in the collection


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

Referenced in 1 publication


Anne Ryan, Drawing out: Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial 2014, 'Mary Tonkin', pg. 56-65, Sydney, 2014, 56-65, (iilus. pg.59-62, 64, 96).