Sometimes it takes distance to really see the beauty of home. For multi-award winning graphic designer Jason McDonald it took a return to his roots near Mudgee for his artistic talents to truly blossom – and he’s celebrating the beauty of home with a new exhibition. ‘Permanent Moments’ at Artisan On Lewis in February and March 2018.
Jason, who went to school at Mudgee High, experienced true success in his 30 years in Sydney, working as a graphic designer for the Powerhouse Museum and the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority before establishing his design firm with clients as diverse as Film Australia, the Queen Victoria Building and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.
In 2009, he returned to his family property at Hargraves, establishing the beautiful and popular Permanent Camping Eco Retreat in 2015. Being back in touch with nature proved inspirational.
“The scale of the property here is so large,” Jason said, “but what I found was that I was increasingly drawn to the small details. I had time to notice the unexpected in nature – bright orange lichen, camouflaged geckos, a colony of butterflies on flower spike.”
Calling on his graphic design background he has created a series of beautiful works focusing on the patterns that we often miss in nature.
“I like to capture a moment with photography and then work with that moment to create something permanent,” he said..
The choice of exhibition space was also a nod to the inspiration and history of the local area. “Café gallery owners and sisters Angela and Gabrielle Leonard were my babysitters,” Jason said with a smile. “I used to paint pictures with Gabrielle on her parents’ sliding glass windows.”
Now Jason creates pictures with an unmistakably modern blend of photography and digital design manipulation. Printed on archival quality 310gsm cotton rag paper and cocooned in solid Australian oak box frames, the resulting images feel like large-scale natural history specimen trays. The perfect circle of life for any interior.
‘Permanent Moments’ is on show at Artisan on Lewis, 13 Lewis Street, Mudgee, during February and March 2018.