Noel McKenna's work depicts subjects drawn from contemporary life in a naïve and gently humorous style. This work belongs to a series of maps McKenna produced between 2002 and 2014, which are mostly of Australia. While McKenna's paintings are generally modest in scale, the maps are necessarily large to accommodate rich taxonomies of information. Each painting charts a disparate, idiosyncratic subject, from lighthouses to dangerous fauna, racecourses, public swimming pools, and 'big' tourist attractions. Here, the form of Australia accommodates a crossword puzzle on the history of Australian art between 1933-1978: a more enigmatic approach than the aggregation of names, facts and images in other maps. The clues gesture to figures and events familiar to McKenna but otherwise obscure and most likely forgotten, charting a highly personal account of interests, influences and incidental knowledge.
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
152.5 x 183.0 cm stretcher
Signature & date
Signed and dated u.l. verso on stretcher, black ball-point pen "N. McKenna 04 ...".
Wendy Barron Bequest 2018
Not on display
© Noel McKenna. Licensed by Copyright Agency
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Noel McKenna: Australia II including the Queensland Room, Darren Knight Gallery, Waterloo, 31 Aug 2004–02 Oct 2004
Noel McKenna landscape - mapped, Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 18 Nov 2017–02 Apr 2018
Referenced in 1 publication
Peter McKay, Noel McKenna: Landscape- mapped, Southbank, 2017, 14, 32-33 (colour illus., detail), 86.