“That’s the Style, Mary” (2011), is the name of this large wall painting by Tim McMonagle. I was temporarily dumb-struck when I saw this some month’s back within the Holmesglen Contemporary Australian Art Exhibition. This piece was away from the main gallery exhibition items but nonetheless on entrance, it can stop you in mid-tracks. In order to understand Tim’s piece, you need to understand the ‘tunnel vision’ he has used to depict a worker within a pre-21st Century, mining tunnel; which he has used as a metaphor for ‘contemporary man’s relentless pursuit of material gain‘.
These mining fore-bearers were often trapped in cavernous tunnels, furiously chipping away at fragments of elusive treasure for us to appreciate today. In this modern canvas, we get the opportunity to peer down into one of these cavernous craters, and in this case, to see a female miner.
I like Tim McMonagle’s approach and style to his art.
- He paints directly onto linen.
- He does not use any preparatory sketches or detail mapping before he applies the first daub or streak of paint.
- He uses a square format for his works, therefore ensuring that each composition is resolute.
That’s why I say – “That’s the style Tim!”