Artist’s statement – Glenda Mackay, Croplands
The northeast of Victoria is “cropland”: a region for growing food.

In my artistic practice, I explore the patterns of the land and land use, and of landform edges where the land transitions. I use assemblage, collage, drawing, painting and mixed media to image the patterns I observe. As a private pilot, I see the aerial view of the region throughout the seasons, the changes in colour and texture from summer to winter, from flood to drought.
I am especially drawn to the grid: its order, symmetry and discipline and its evocation of cropland. The grid is also the mapping overlay on the land: it is the network of horizontal and vertical lines designed to give fixed points of reference. We use grids to define our ownership of the land and impose our human presence on the land.
In developing this body of work, I have explored our connectivity with the land and its usage to sustain and nurture us. I have used a range of materials that reference connection through our land use practices and construction of the built environment.
Collage is an important part of my art practice. I use it to explore ideas and themes, but also the mechanics of composition, form and colour.
From collage, my work extends and develops in different directions. It extends into the construction of two-dimensional assemblages using wood, sheet metal and other materials rather than paper. They connect the domestic world with its surroundings of the land through the connection of material and image making and call up the tradition of making do.

This exhibition includes multi-panel painted wood block assemblages, paintings and works of collaged paper, that explore the seasons, the strict geometry of the croplands, and the randomness of the natural environment that underpins our human presence.

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