27 February – 16 March 2013: Robina McDonald – Transforming encounters


Gallery 3

At the heart of the Celtic world is the art of storytelling. In Scottish Folklore there abound stories of imaginary creatures, both benign and malevolent. Some are hybrids neither human nor beast, others are spirits from the supernatural world. Created narratives go back centuries and are part of childhood. They also serve another function, that of instilling discipline by way of an exaggerated story. McDonald’s work is informed by such memories.

Due to evolutionary processes and rapid technological change in the modern world, children are less likely to be influenced in a fearful way by such old stories. It seems that globalisation has also influenced the spirit world, forcing emigration and transformation to pastures new. This contemporary work has a conceptual framework that explores hybrid transforming encounters with a group of spirits who have emigrated to Australia and are trying to adapt to new experiences as some of their old powers decline. It is a fairy story for both children and adults.