1. Drift, 2019, Monotype/Drawing, 112 x 76 cm, Courtesy of the artist.
2. Deep, 2019, Monotype/Drawing, 56 x 76 cm, Courtesy of the artist.
Kim McDonald is based in South Gippsland, living and working in a small coastal town – an environment that strongly resonates with the concepts explored in her work. Critical ideas in McDonald’s work are those of landscape and the body, often expressing the interconnectedness between one and the other. In addition, her work renders visible the unseen forces such as psychological states and pressure systems that can affect our minds and bodies.
McDonald associates the heightened anxiety that comes from confronting concerns for the planet’s future with deep submersion in water. She conveys this feeling of drowning in relentless angst concerning environmental issues of rising sea levels. The artist describes the manifestation of these psychological states as ‘subliminal seascapes, submerged topography, shifting forms, transient spaces, ephemeral water, energy and mass, light, shimmer and intangible liquid landscapes.’ The works Deep and Drift are monotype prints from the recent series Submerge.
Like gravity and inertia working in opposition to create tidal waves, the works appear as opposites to each other, revealing a positive or negative impression expanding from the centre. An essential process to the artist’s work, applying the ink to the plate’s surface and using the pressure of the body to draw creates a biographical trace. The result is a translation of internal expression to the external.
These impressions are like a release of breath that fogs up a window and then dissolves, consumed by the atmosphere. The relationship between the body and the environment is reinstated by the similarities in the unpredictability of McDonald’s printing process and the Earth’s natural forces that impact terrestrial and oceanic environments. Kim McDonald is a member of the artist collective, Owls of Nebraska.