Engaged: Alison McDonald seeks to engage the viewer’s mind and heart as well as eye. She says: ‘Each minute and individual plastic lid contribution included in Engaged reveals the collective power of a community and what is possible when it is engaged and well connected.’
As this use of waste would suggest, McDonald is a socially engaged artist, relying on community donations not only for materials but also to educate the community about the massive extent and alternative uses of waste. McDonald is also skilful and imaginative, transmuting junk into formally rigorous and evocative artworks. Engaged is an arresting, eight x four metre long “rolling wave” of plastic lids, gathered from around the world from Queensland to Greece, India, Nepal and China. An exciting, wavy razzle-dazzle, the systematic arrangement of small circles creates a satisfying planar form, drawn from mathematics and nature (wave, river, shore). The work is also a disquieting reminder of the trillions of pieces of plastic debris strewn across land, bobbing in oceans, and choking and entangling birds and sea creatures.
The Artist and CQUniversity are grateful for the contribution of plastic lids by many Townsville and Queensland residents, artists and CQUniversity staff and students, too numerous to mention individually. We thank the Townsville businesses who contributed: Boost (Castletown), Bunnings (North Shore), Café Bambini, Coffee Dominion, Gloria Jeans Coffee, Jaxx Coffee Shop, Juliettes, McDonalds. Mercure Inn, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Sports Medical NQ Physio, Swagger, Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts.