Mary Tonkin

By Julie Chiffey

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Hawthorn Artist Society was privileged to host Contemporary Melbourne Artist, Mary Tonkin, at the Kew Court House Gallery on Saturday March 16th. This very special event organised by Richard Birmingham was a part of the 2013 Kew Festival program and attracted a large gathering of people eager to hear Mary speak about her work and her relationship with the Australian landscape, particularly the landscape of her childhood around Kalorama in the Dandenong ranges.


Mary spoke of her need to be outside in the landscape- ‘you as part of the whole’, that painting is a language, ‘poetically conveying something.’ For Mary, painting landscape is a subjective and personal experience and the many examples which she showed the audience bore testimony to her deeply spiritual connection with the colour, the movement, and the textures found within the landscape near her home.