Macquarie Group Collection
19 Sep 2017
To celebrate 30 years of Macquarie’s art collection, Macquarie Group Collection Director Helen Burton and Deputy Director and Director of Collections of AGNSW Maud Page, discuss the evolution of Australian art and the modern day gallery experience.
I act as the tongue of you, 2008 | acrylic on canvas 152 x 220cm © the artist
This painting is based on the Shoalhaven River at the Boyd family property, Bundanon, and is an exploration of Arthur Boyd’s relationship to that bushland made famous through his work.
The artist explains that it “operates on a number of levels: factually it is a recording of a part of the Shoalhaven at Bundanon which was often painted by Arthur Boyd and explores the aura that sits around this space. It is then reinvested with my own projections that draw on a colonial mythology of the landscape as strange and malevolent.”
Fiona Lowry was born in Sydney in 1974 where she continues to live and work having gained a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) from Sydney College of the Arts. In 2008 she won the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, Australia’s richest art prize, and in 2014 the Archibald Prize.
“Commander Skyring” Gang Gang Cockatoo, 2012 | C type photograph on archival fibre 112 x 90cm © the artist
In 2012 Sydney–based photographer Leila Jeffreys presented a series of 25 ‘portrait’ photographs of Australian birds, which included ‘Neville’ Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo and ‘Commander Skyring’ Gang Gang Cockatoo. Unusually, the birds are presented not as decorative features of the natural world in a landscape setting, but as character-filled individuals.
The result of research across Australia and in other parts of the world, including working with scientists on studies of endangered birds on Christmas Island, these are empathic portraits of creatures whose survival, like that of so many others, is currently under threat.
Winkipop, 2011 | acrylic oil enamel on linen 120 x 200cm © the artist
This painting physically draws the viewer in and captures the quintessentially Australian experience of driving along winding country roads towards the coast but not quite being able to see the ocean. Suddenly you come over a hill and there it is, you can see and even smell it.
The painting cleverly replicates that feeling of elation and excitement, using the foreground image of the white lines on the road to pull the viewer into the picture space. The place it depicts is Winkipop, a popular Victorian surf beach, but it could one of many similar vistas in Australia.
Mackinnon is a young Melbourne painter who studied and lived in London, where he worked as a studio assistant to well-known expatriate Australian artist Tim Maguire (whose early work is also represented in the Macquarie Group Collection).
Sanctuary, 2014 | oil on linen 115 x 150cm © the artist
In 2013 Kate McKay was awarded a first class honours in her Bachelor of Fine Art from Queensland College of Art in Brisbane. In 2014 her work was curated into a couple of group exhibitions in Queensland, and in 2015 she won the Macquarie Group Emerging Artist Award with this painting, Sanctuary.
The painting depicts a photorealistic but ambiguous landscape, rendered in monotone colours. The artist’s interest is not so much in specific landscapes, but in the way that the character of a landscape imbues itself in our psyche and can be a catalyst for a memory, emotion and sensorial response to place.
In her own words: “It’s really interesting to see while I have painted these places, people could put them anywhere in the world. I just want to create a world where everyone relates differently.”
Own Backyard, 2015 | oil on linen 137 x 122cm © the artist
Michael Muir’s work explores the simplification and interpretation of outdoor, mostly urban environments. With an emphasis on colour and natural light, the painted works explore a fusion between representation and abstraction, often taking an emotive approach that’s steeped in nostalgia and childhood memories – either borrowed or his own.
According to the artist, “The use of palette knives to apply the paint is done with a deliberate subtlety, from afar the work looks flat and painted with brush, on closer inspection texture is revealed. This discord is deliberate in terms of the construction of the painting using hard edges of interlocking colours to flatten the picture plane. Using tonal variations of colours and in some cases reduced chroma, I try to create depth. The flattened shapes create an ambiguous image where a narrative is unfolding.”
A Sydney-based artist, Muir won the Mosman Art Prize in 2014 and his paintings have been included in numerous major art awards such as the Wynne, Sulman and NSW Parliament Plein Air prizes.
Expression of Interest information: Public art proposal by Macquarie Group, Martin Place Integrated Station Development
Macquarie Group is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from visual artists to develop a major public artwork for the new Sydney Metro Martin Place integrated station development.
Background to the project
Macquarie Group will deliver the new Sydney Metro Martin Place integrated station development. This will include the new Martin Place Metro Station, two new commercial buildings above the station, a retail space, new underground pedestrian connections and improvements to the public domain.
As the new Martin Place Station is built underground, the integrated station development will be able to be built above the station at the same time. This helps reduce community impacts, and allows for the buildings to be completed when Sydney Metro services start in 2024.
Macquarie Group is seeking artists with experience in delivering major public art, or a demonstrated capacity to do so, to work with Macquarie and our architects to deliver one or more major public artworks for the new precinct.
Transport hubs play an integral role in the city, servicing workers commuting from the suburbs and between different points within the city. Public art has the capacity to positively influence the commuter, customer and visitor experience. At its best, public art also has placemaking capacity to transform a generic city space into a destination in its own right.
By integrating imaginative and ambitious examples of world-class public art, Macquarie aims to provide a positive and uplifting experience for city workers, shoppers, tourists and Sydney Metro users. The development offers numerous potential locations for suspended, wall-based and digital art works. These major public art works will enhance people’s experience of the precinct, providing wonder, delight and opportunities for cultural engagement as they pass through the ground level and underground spaces.
The Macquarie-commissioned public art for the new integrated station development will complement public art commissioned by Sydney Metro for the station entrance areas, creating an engaging and cohesive visual environment.
In working with Sydney Metro on the integration of public art into the new Martin Place Station, Macquarie Group’s vision aligns with Sydney Metro’s aim to elevate Sydney’s place as a global city and deliver a cultural legacy to the people of New South Wales.
Sydney Metro is Australia’s biggest public transport project. In 2024, Sydney will have 31 metro railway stations and a 66 km standalone metro railway system. There will be ultimate capacity for a metro train every two minutes in each direction under the Sydney CBD.
The Martin Place Station will deliver new metro rail services and will also directly link with the existing Martin Place suburban railway station which services the T4 Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra Line.
In 2018 Sydney Metro ran a separate public art EOI for the entire Sydney Metro network. This included a competition for the public art commissions at Martin Place Station, focussed on the station entrance areas. The successful artist for the Metro Art Commission will be endorsed in June 2019.
Image: Artist's impression of Martin Place integrated station development. All artist’s impressions are subject to planning application processes and design development.
Macquarie Group is a diversified financial group providing clients with asset management and finance, banking, advisory and risk and capital solutions across debt, equity and commodities. Founded in 1969, Macquarie employs 14,869 people in 27 countries. Macquarie Group, together with its design and construction contractor Lendlease, will deliver the new Sydney Metro Martin Place integrated station development.
Artist selection process
Call for artists to submit through a public EOI to establish their eligibility for the Sydney Metro Martin Place integrated station development. The EOI is open until 17 June 2019, after which time the selection panel will create a shortlist of artists for Stage 2. Artists who would like to be considered for inclusion on the long list are invited to submit the following material:
- A maximum 300 word description of current practice and experience
- A 2-page CV
- A letter of reference from a client, commissioner or gallerist
- Images of three relevant examples of previous art work
- Confirmation of availability to participate
Shortlisted artists will be invited to develop a proposal for public artwork/s. Artists will be provided with a detailed Artists Brief including architectural and building plans, budgets and contractual information, as well as a site visit and meetings with Macquarie Group representatives as required. A nominal fee will be paid to each short-listed artist who undertakes to develop a detailed proposal.
Shortlisted artists present their proposal to the selection panel. The final selection of artist/s is anticipated to occur in September 2019. The criteria for selection of the artist/s will be:
- Artistic merit as evidenced in the material provided
- Alignment with Macquarie Group and Sydney Metro public art strategies
- Responsiveness to the Artists Brief
- Demonstrated capacity and experience working on public art projects
Please read terms and conditions here.
Emerging Artists Prize
Since 1987, the Macquarie Group Collection has been acquiring works by emerging Australian artists around the theme of The Land and Its Psyche. More than 800 works are on display in around 40 Macquarie offices globally.
The Macquarie Group Collection’s acquisitive Emerging Artist Prize and exhibition is held in Sydney each year, offering support to a new generation of Australian visual artists. Artists are invited to enter an original work/s that reflect the Macquarie Group Collection theme, The Land and Its Psyche.
The winner receives $A15,000 with their work joining the Macquarie Group Collection. Two Highly Commended recipients each receive $A2,000 and People’s Choice Winner receives $A1,000. International Art Services generously provide sponsored art transport. Terms & Conditions attached.
Image: Liss Fenwick, Girraween, Northern Territory, 2016, pigment print on Platine fibre paper, 70 x 100cm, edition 1/5 + 1AP, framed.
Now in its eighth year, the 2019 Macquarie Group Emerging Artist Exhibition will open from 12 August to 5 September 2019 in the gallery, Space, 1 Shelley St, Sydney (enter via Erskine St).
Please read the terms and conditions here
Entries close 5pm, 31 May 2019.
First Nations Emerging Curator Award
The Macquarie Group Foundation in partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts awarded the inaugural Macquarie Group First Nations Emerging Curator Award to Freja Carmichael in September 2017.
Image: Glennys Briggs, Our Stories 2014, print on paper, Redland Art Gallery Collection, courtesy the artist. From the Gathering Strands exhibition, curated by Freja Carmichael. Photography by Carl Warner.
The Australia Council’s partnership with the Macquarie Group Foundation is part of a broader strategy to encourage arts investment from diverse sources and to leverage its unique position and expertise to benefit Australian artists and audiences. The Award reflects a shared commitment of promoting First Nations arts and investing in emerging artists and arts professionals.
The inaugural winner received $A15,000 and will curate a new exhibition in 2018 mentored by the Macquarie Group Collection Director and Curatorial Consultant and a Senior First Nations curator. They will also participate in professional development opportunities nationally and internationally with the Australia Council.
Find out more
Macquarie’s new gallery in Sydney, Space, is open to the public at 1 Shelley Street (enter via Erskine St) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11am to 3pm.Directions
Published in 2012 to commemorate the first 25 years of the collection, The Macquarie Group Collection – The Land and Its Psyche features a brief history and 100 works from the collection. Macquarie’s art collection has since been featured in two international publications about global corporate art collections.Buy
The Macquarie Group Collection sits within the Macquarie Group Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Macquarie Group which provides support to hundreds of community organisations globally each year through financial support, volunteering and skills sharing.Learn more