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A Sit Down With Michelle Macnamara

A Sit Down With Michelle Macnamara

At the end of 2011, I was lucky enough to catch up with local Byron Bay artist Michelle Macnamara. After already blowing the world away with her own twist on Surrealism, Michelle is set for bigger and better things in 2012, with the launch of her new collection Northern Exposure. Check out the rad words by her below as well as some of her work. Keep an eye out in 2012 for some AFENDS gear featuring her work!

Michelle! Your art is amazing, weve lucky enough to have been exposed to it! How long have you been at it, and where do you draw your inspiration?

Ive been painting and drawing since I was a kid but really got serious about it in my early teens, where I poured all of my teenage angst into large scale drawings and paintings. Since then Ive grown up (a little bit), travelled, studied my trade and have been working on refining my techniques, materials and subjects.

My inspiration comes from a myriad of different places/experience but as a general rule, my work reflects my life.


How would you currently describe your work?

Surreal, figurative landscapes....


Your starting to get a pretty good name for yourself with collectors all over stocking up, where is the craziest place your art is living across the world?

Ive got work in a penthouse in Brighton, UK and pieces in mansions in Melbourne, Australia but I also have a piece living with a homeless artist with whom I swapped a photograph for, a few years back ( last I heard he was in Amsterdam )...

Id have to say depends on what you call crazy....I just love the fact that my work is hanging up and being enjoyed, not hidden away in a garage somewhere......


Have you got any new collections out?

Im currently working on a new series called Northern Exposure which will be exhibited in 2012. More details to come...

Upcoming exhibitions?

Its definitely time for a show.... Im in discussion at the moment about showing my new collection in Byron Bay, will have to keep you posted!


Whos work are you loving at the moment?

Ive been heavily influenced from a very young age by Francis Bacon, I find his work deeply disturbing and terrifying, yet his paintings ooze sadness and sensuality.

I love Mark Rothkos Seagram Murals, I saw them in the TATE. I never thought I liked abstract paintings but these were different, like doorways to another dimension. Seeing them in books, just doesnt do them justice.

I enjoy looking at painters and sculptors from the Surrealist movement. I dont necessarily love the works themselves but the ideas and questions they raise.

Having said that....

I try not to look at other artists too deeply when Im working on a new collection, as Im an accidental copycat. I dont do it on purpose, its just something that happens and my work starts to look a lot like that particular artist painted it.

I dont really keep up with what goes on in the art world because, to be honest, I think its all bull****. I just want to paint...


What do you spin on your player whilst laying down the paint?

Its a real mixture, of course, depending on my mood. Format B, Hot Chip, M.Ward, The Stranglers, Dream City Film Club, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, The Beatles and Radiohead to name a few....

Any last words?

Thanks for checking out my work.....

I have an Open Studio space @ 20 Brigantine St in the Arts & Industry Estate, Byron Bay. Open daily to the public.

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