Drawing Wall projects often revolve around conversations and collaborations, and provide members of the public an opportunity to interact with the artists during installation.
Each year four artists are commissioned to produce new work across the 4 x 12m space.
Drawing Wall # 36 - Carla McRae
Carla McRae is a Melbourne-based artist and illustrator. Her drawings pull together a blank space with clean lines, geometric shapes and strong colour. McRae’s work depicts open narratives inspired by the beauty of everyday moments, small gestures and simple pleasures.
Drawing from some key pieces currently featured in SAM’s exhibition A Finer Grain: Selected Works from the SAM collection, this painting centres around a rendition of Ethel Spowers’ Resting Models, 1934 linocut print. A strong Australian woman artist and passionate modernist, Spowers was prolific throughout the 20’s and 30’s. McRae says she feels “an affinity with her preference for flat, simplified graphic forms, block colours and observations of everyday life”.
The women in this piece appear confident and at ease in each other’s company. Other key pieces from the SAM collection, refined and rendered down to simplified geometric forms and bold colours, drift and rise behind the women. Margaret Preston’s Magnolias (not dated) bloom, alongside forms derived from the ceramics of Penny Smith, Fiona Murphy, Susan Laurent, Angela Valamanesh, Kirsten Coelho and Khai Liew. They form a world of strength and companionship for these women; soft and sharp, light and dark, deep and uplifting. For McRae, this drawing wall commission speaks to a sisterhood and is a celebration of the contrasting, complex and powerful spirit of these artists and their artworks.
After graduating from the Graphic Design and Communication program at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, McRae has since made a home for her practice in Melbourne, Victoria. From editorial, publishing, branding and apparel to sock design, large-scale mural projects and teaching programs, McRae has worked and collaborated with notable local and international clients around the world. She is represented commercially by The Jacky Winter Group.