Catherine O’Donnell’s highly refined and technically impressive charcoal drawings of the urban environment are a combination of social critique, formalist aesthetics and narrative. She finds beauty and a shared humanity in overlooked pockets of the world that are fundamental to the identity of those who occupy them.
This monumental installation refashions one architectural form, the post-war fibro house of Western Sydney, onto another, the wall of an art gallery. More than an anonymous box with a blank façade, it is very like the home in which the artist grew up and formed her earliest memories.
The work’s scale encourages a physical as well as psychological experience in the viewer. There are occasional, subtle visual interferences that imply a human presence suggesting a life, or lives, within.
O’Donnell’s method combines working from memory and photographs, as well as close observation.
charcoal on three sheets of paper, charcoal wall drawing
installation dimensions variable :
a - triple window, 152.4 x 237.6 cm, 152.4 x 237.1 cm sheet size; 146.3 x 228.8 cm image size
b - double window, 152.4 x 179.1 cm, 152.4 x 146.6 cm sheet size; 171.8 x 178.7 cm image size
c - doorway, 201.6 x 152.4 cm, 201.6 x 152.4 cm sheet size; 148.3 x 192. 3 cm image size
Purchased with funds provided by the Gil & Shay Docking Drawing Fund 2017
Not on display
© Catherine O'Donnell
Shown in 1 exhibition
Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial 2016, Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo, 05 May 2017–02 Jul 2017