Ron McBurnie: Metal as Anything
Margaret Carnegie Gallery: 18 November 2011 - 29 January 2012
Ron McBurnie, Dog's bottles, 1988, hard ground etching and aquatint
City of Townsville Art Collection / Photo: Michael Marzik
Metal as Anything brings to life a carnival of misbehaving dogs, ducks in box kites, jumping cats and eccentric cane toad shooters, in a thirty year retrospective of etchings from nationally recognised Townsville-based printmaker Ron McBurnie. The exhibition highlights the artist's amazing ability to capture the weird and wonderful events that occur in our 'mundane' suburban environment.
McBurnie's inspiration comes from his everyday experience of the world. "Someone might tell me a story and then I might meet the people involved and the whole thing morphs into an etching. If I am marvelling at an old print, then that inspires me. If I hear an idiotic story about a corrupt politician, then that story will inspire me. If I am playing a piece of music that takes me to an extraordinary place, then that is my inspiration. Sometimes ideas and inspiration come from the weirdest of sources."
Metal as Anything has been curated by Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville. Gallery Director Frances Townsend comments: "McBurnie has developed a distinctive style that has earned him national recognition as a printmaker. Through the works included here McBurnie demonstrates his proficiency in etching. We are proud to tour the works of this prominent Townsville-based artist to a broader public."
The exhibition is complemented by an extensive catalogue of essays, images and anecdotes from the artist to provide visitors with wonderful insights into McBurnie's work. Contributing writer Professor Sasha Grishin (Australian National University) observes: "Although one is seduced by the whimsicality of his vernacular humour and his ability to spot the uncelebrated heroes of Australian suburbia, yet his art engages with a broader humanist agenda and a broader historical tradition."
Ron McBurnie: Metal as Anything is a travelling exhibition developed by Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and toured by Museum & Gallery Services Queensland. This touring project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments.