Sharon McKenzie: upcoming artist-in-residence

Sharon McKenzie working in her studio, 2014, photo by Rob William, The Queensland Times

Sharon McKenzie is an artist based in Ipswich Queensland. She has a Bachelor of Visual Art majoring in illustration and a Graduate Diploma in painting from Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. Last year, Sharon won the Wayne Kratzman Award in the Qld Regional Art Awards with her work Exquisite Corpse. In 2013, Sharon was awarded a Regional Arts Development Grant for her project Endangered. Focusing on endangered floral and faunal species, she undertook this project during 2013/14 as the Old Courthouse Cultural Association’s artist-in-residence. Sharon has exhibited extensively within Australia and has work held in many private collections. 

Sharon McKenzie, Exquisite Corpse: Regent Honeyeater, Grey Headed 
Flying Fox, Squatter Pigeon and Black Throated Finch, 2014, 
pen on paper, 2014 Wayne Kratzman Award Winner

Sharon's practice bridges scientific information with everyday assumptions, through a meticulous process of drawing and painting. She sketches extensively in the field, and also in the Queensland Museum and the Botanical Gardens Herbarium collections. These drawings evolve into delicate Frankenstein like re-assemblages combining a variety of species' features, challenging commonly held beliefs about endangered flora and fauna. Sharon also reads broadly on subjects related to her projects, creating layered understandings and responses in her work. 

Sharon McKenzie,  Exquisite Corpse: Marbled frogmouth, 
Squatter Pigeon and Swift Parrot, 2014, pen on paper

"During my Gunyah residency I plan to look at native flora and fauna of the local area, recording via sketchbooks and photography the local places that endangered species have lived and continue to live. I plan to focus on three species, which featured in my QLD Endangered project. These three are also listed as endangered in the Newcastle region: the Regent Honeyeater, Swift Parrot and Powerful Owl. During my Endangered project I worked mainly with the corpse of the animal, through the Gunyah residency I hope to see evidence of the living animal, within the local environment and record it. As the mother of three young children I also see this residency as a way of creating understanding within my own family about the importance of native environments and species."

 Sharon McKenzie, Wreathed Series: woman wreathed in feathers from Powerful Owl and 
Glossy Black Cockatoo, also Plectranthus harbrophyllus, Melaleuca irbyana, Notelaea 
ipviciensis (endangered and critically endangered plant species), 2014, pen on paper

You can see more of Sharon's work on her website