Monumental dogs wander through groups of children playing hopscotch. A polar bear gently cradles a sleeping infant. The animals and children in Siobhan McMahon’s watercolours are plucked from their natural environments and placed into fields of open space. Flecks of glitter occasionally sparkle across the image, recalling the flurried enchantment of a snow-dome or the remnants of a forgotten celebration.
McMahon has remarked that ‘young children and animals are uninhibited and self-centred creatures, yet both are forced to adapt to a life that changes these instinctive traits. I know it is irrational to believe in a world where children don’t grow up and dogs are the size of bridges, but sometimes I find myself enjoying viewing these visions when faced with the banalities of adult life.’ The images in this exhibition present isolated, dream-like territories in which fantasy proliferates.
Siobhan McMahon is a recent graduate of Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (Painting). This is her first solo exhibition.