December Mostra 2019 / Meet the artists… Marlee McMahon

In conjunction with the opening of the December Mostra, we are taking a closer look at the individual practices of our resident artists. The fifth interview is of Marlee McMahon, our Cranbourne Fellow.


Marlee McMahon in her studio at the BSR

You’re a painter, but during this residency you have decided to experiment with the technique of collage. Could you explain why you decided to use another media?

My painting practice is quite time consuming and uses many materials. Rome provided me with the opportunity to push away from the rigid masking process that I had been using to make work; ultimately, removing paint was a simple way for me to open up my practice and to discover new ways of making. As colour is important in my work, I found that paper was a nice way to play with immediate colour, shape, and composition. Paper / collage allowed me a sense of freedom that I struggled to find in other materials.

McMahon_Marlee_Designer Sale copy

Designer Sale (M-tooth), 2019, Acrylic on Canvas (60 x 56 cm)

What do you find interesting in work by David Tremlett?

I think the materiality and his response to space through colour and shape are the key reasons why I am interested in his work. I appreciate the sensitivity is his application of pigment onto architecture in Italy. In many of his public installations he brings something new, colour, shape and an idea to a pre-existing place. The spaces that he installs his drawing directly onto are sites that he may not have a personal connection to. The kind of stamping of pigment onto (these sometimes foreign) buildings I find engaging. He manages to mark these spaces without offending them. Visually, I’m drawn to the different pigments that he uses, the colours are so organic and through his composition he creates works that have the most wonderfully quiet and calming effect.


David Tremlett, decorazioni esterne della Chiesetta della Beata Maria Vergine del Carmine, Coazzolo (Asti) 2017

Marlee’s work is exhibited alongside other resident artists in the December Mostra. Opening hours 16.30-19.00 until Saturday 14 December 2019, closed Sundays.

Interview by Marta Pellerini (BSR Fine Arts Adviser).