Rafaella McDonald

Sucking Breath, Jolly Lolly

6 September27 October 2018

‘Sucking Breath, Jolly Lolly’ is a solo exhibition by Melbourne-based artist Rafaella McDonald. Playing with the boundaries of sculpture and painting, McDonald contemplates ‘sweetness’ as a mode of existing in a precarious world.

Through her experimental three-dimensional objects, the artist examines joyfulness and uncertainty as complicated but related feelings, like a moment of honeyed satisfaction amid a sharp gasp for air.

Sucking Breath, Jolly Lolly uses boiled sugar, fabric, resin, clay and dye to materially connect with the body; its uniforms and place of rest. The works are physically connected through a sticky web of dripping candy.

Described by the artist as a ‘puffy painting’, coming out as intense is made from natural and synthetically dyed found fabrics, with a sculptural canvas both hard and soft, emerging and contained. The trace of a ghostlike figure hovers in a transient state, suspended between shape and abstraction.

About the artist:

Rafaella McDonald graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2015 and a Bachelor of Creative Arts from the University of Melbourne in 2009. Her recent solo exhibitions include Rhyming Stance, TCB art inc. (2017) and Paintings for Performances, Fort Delta (2015). Selected group exhibitions include Winter Sun, curated by Laura Couttie, Daine Singer (2018); Winter Blues, curated by Laura Couttie and Daine Singer, Daine Singer (2018); Real Life Fantasies, curated by Patrice Sharkey, West Space (2017); Saturn Returns, Fort Delta (2017) and Pose Like This, a collaboration with Emma Collard, The Substation (2017).

McDonald has created large-scale mural commissions for the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority at City Square Swanston Street, Shepparton Art Museum and the City of Stonnington. In 2017 McDonald was awarded the Midsumma Art Prize Award. In the same year, she received a VicArts Grant from Creative Victoria to undertake a month-long residency in Los Angeles.