We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Rocky outcrop, Werribee Gorge



Mary Tonkin


1973 –

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Werribee Melbourne Victoria Australia
    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
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Mary Tonkin

    Reproduction requests

    Dobell Prize for Drawing
    Winner - 2002
    Artist information
    Mary Tonkin

    Works in the collection


  • About

    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.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 7 publications

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

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

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

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

Other works by Mary Tonkin