Noel McKenna

Noel McKenna was born in Brisbane in 1956. After studying architecture at the University of Queensland in 1974 and 1975, McKenna continued his education at the Brisbane College of Art between 1976 and 1978, and later at the Alexander Mackie College, Sydney in 1981. A prominent Australian artist, McKenna enjoys an extensive exhibition history both nationally and internationally, with solo exhibitions in Ireland, Hong Kong, Japan, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart, Korea, and New Zealand. Recently his work was featured at the MCA, Sydney in the exhibition South of No North – Laurence Aberhart, William Eggleston, Noel McKenna (2013); Close to Home: Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial, AGNSW, Sydney (2016); and The Popular Pet Show, NPG, Canberra (2016/2017). In 1994 the artist was awarded the Sulman Prize. McKenna has also been awarded the Art Gallery of New South Wales Trustees Watercolour Prize five times since 1997. In 2001 he won the Melbourne Savage Club Prize for Painting, and two years later the Mosman Prize in 2003. His work is featured in major institutional collections including the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales; Art Gallery of South Australia; National Gallery of Australia; National Gallery of Victoria; Chartwell Collection, New Zealand in addition to numerous university and regional collections.

Noel McKenna is an artist who is totally absorbed by everyday scenes and moments of domestic and suburban life. He brings to these captured moments deadpan humour, pathos and child-like obsession with minutia. This is the case with A great Origin moment (C) 2013 where McKenna depicts the State of Origin match where the Captain of the Blues, Paul Gallen is involved in a tackle of Maroon's Jonathon Thurston. This resulted in an ‘all-in shoving match’ with four players sent off for ‘10 in the bin’. While Gallen was not sent off for the infringement, this moment however led subsequently to the introduction of a rule that players would be sin-binned for any punch thrown in future Origin matches. With boyish zeal this was a great Origin moment.

A great Origin moment (C)
Ink on paper
41 x 58.5 cm
Courtesy of Heiser Gallery
79 Vulture St
West End
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