“I work to unite the external with the internal in life, so my work constantly shifts… but there is a subtle, Australian-Gothic sensibility at work”. William Mackinnon describes his field as eloquently as he wrestles within its playground of possibilities, testing the material range of paint. Bold in scale and redolent with optimism in spite of darker currents, Mackinnon’s visual acumen disturbs the painting’s innocent, easy surface to leave tracks rich in emotional, social and political symbolism.
Beholden to life’s experiences, Mackinnon’s subjects span the urban nocturne, endless highways and studio interiors, each a type of psychological landscape. Outdoors in full sun, lyrical coastlines with glassy surf infer a hedonist’s sensuality, but his practice draws equally on contemporary life’s more brittle realities such as his series made in remote desert communities, The Lucky Country.
Melbourne born into a lineage of artists, Mackinnon studied at the Chelsea School of Art and Design and worked as Tim Maguire’s studio assistant for two years before earning an MA at the Victorian College of the Arts. Over two decades of exhibiting in Australia and overseas, Mackinnon has achieved several art-world recognitions, most recently as a 2018 finalist for both the Archibald and Wynne Prizes. He has also been a finalist in prizes, including the Hadley’s Art Prize, Fleurieu Art Prize and the Basil Sellers Art Prize. Mackinnon’s work is held in a number of private and public collections, including Artbank, Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra, The University of Melbourne Art Collection, State Library of Victoria, Griffith University and the Macquarie Bank Collection.Download CV - pdf