William Mackinnon’s paintings sit at the intersection between reality and imagination, what he physically perceives and what he concocts in his mind. He explores the possibilities of painting through what is often a fantastical representation of the environment around him: whether it be a roadscape, landscape, or dreamscape.
William Mackinnon’s most recent solo exhibition, On the edge of knowing, explored themes of Australian identity through imagery of surfers and the rugged landscape of the beach. His large-scale cinematic paintings paddle against the current of his contemporaries, zooming in on what is prescient to him in life and work. Each painting leads to the next, revelling in the rich vein of ideas running through them.
Mackinnon completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne in 2000, a Postgraduate Diploma at the Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, in 2006 and a Master of Visual Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne in 2008. He has held solo exhibitions nationally and internationally, including On The Edge of Knowing, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2014; William Mackinnon, Utopian Slumps at Art Stage Singapore, Singapore, 2013; Landscape as self-portrait, Morton Fine Art, Washington, USA, 2012; Paintings concieved while driving, Horsham Regional Art Gallery, Horsham, 2012; The Great Indoors, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2012; The Black Dog, Boutwell Draper, Sydney, 2011; The Lucky Country, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2011; Moving, Boutwell Draper Gallery, Sydney, 2010; Paintings Conceived While Driving, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2009; Mountains, Streams and Cave Dreams, Joint Hassles, Melbourne, 2008; The Covers Album, Joint Hassles, Melbourne, 2007; Not Anxious, Melbourne Art Rooms, Melbourne, 2005; and In and Out, Hewer St Studios, London, 2004. Selected group exhibitions include Landscape of longing: Shoreham 1950 – 2012, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Mornington, 2013; The Painting Group, Milani Gallery, Brisbane, 2011; The Painting Group, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2010; Hell’s Bottom Drawer, curated by Susan Jacobs, Jess Johnson and Katherine Hattam, Hell Gallery, Melbourne, 2010; Contemporary Collage, John Buckley Fine Art, Melbourne, 2008; Under the Influence, Warnambool Art Gallery, Victoria, 2007; Going Under, Joint Hassles, Melbourne, 2007; Empire Strikes Back, Hewer St Studios, London, 2006; Chase, Royal College, London, 2005, Cut and Paste, Pickled Art Centre, Beijing, 2002; and Homeshow, Next Wave Festival, Melbourne, 2002. Mackinnon’s work is held in the Artbank, Griffith University, Holmesglen, Macquarie Bank Collections, RACV, State Library of Victoria and Stonnington Council Collections, as well as various private collections in Australia and overseas. He will exhibit as a finalist in the forthcoming Basil Sellers Art Prize at The Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, in July 2014, and will hold a solo presentation at Melbourne Art Fair through Utopian Slumps in August 2014.
In 2012 Who By Fire produced a documentary on Mackinnon, viewable here.