Queensland based artist Carolyn Donovan has travelled extensively practicing art and its techniques. Her work is a visual journal of wild and beautiful terrain. With a background in advertising and fashion, and a strong environmental emphasis on upcycling, recycling and anti-waste, an ethical approach to nature is evident in all her work.
Using these foundations, heavily layered with a love of ecology, vibrant colours and the unmistakable characteristics of growing up in Australia, has made her work both emotive statement pieces and highly desirable; featuring in numerous public and private national and international collections.
Donovan’s work has most recently been on display during the formal events at the United Nations Global Assembly (UNGA 74), where the focus was on the environment. And, although her 2020 exhibitions in California and New York have been postponed yet again in 2021 due to the COVID pandemic, she also has a permanent exhibition on show in the Australian Consulate-General New York’s Manhattan building.
Describing the aerial abstract pieces acquired by the Consulate-General, Donovan says, “From the sparkling edges of rugged coastlines, spanning across to the centre of one of the longest and oldest volcanic lines in the world, the Australian landscape is exhilarating when viewed from above: A vast, seemingly endless, sense of abundant inspiration.
“It makes me want to create more, use less, and tread lighter.”
2021 SWELL ARTWORK – Industrial Wildflowers, Carolyn Donovan
Inspired by the balance of progress and nature, this depiction of native Australian wildflowers takes example from the perfect imperfection of every fold and bend of their unique shapes and how they spring up and bloom in the harshest of conditions, regardless of the attention given to them. The installation uses discarded and recycled industrial material that has been moulded and repurposed anew, allowing shapes that burst back into a radiant new life when colour is applied.
SWELL Kids Artist Statement – Industrial Wildflowers, Carolyn Donovan
Do you ever see shapes in something you wouldn’t expect to?
I saw these big pieces of metal sitting on a rubbish pile and wanted to turn them into something useful. I thought about how it could be reused, or recycled, or even turned into a sculpture that makes people want to stand around and talk about important things, like fun ways we can take better care of our earth. Straight away, I saw a native WILDFLOWER.
Come and see for yourself at SWELL Sculpture Festival, Pacific Parade, Currumbin 10-19 September.