Patchewollock, Fintan Magee
About the work
To prepare for his Patchewollock mural, Brisbane artist Fintan Magee booked a room at the local pub, immersing himself in the community and getting to know its people. When he met local sheep and grain farmer, Nick “Noodle” Hulland, Magee knew he had found his subject.
Why Hulland? According to Magee, the rugged, lanky local exemplified the no-nonsense, hardworking spirit of the region. Perhaps more importantly though, he says that Noodle had just the right height and leanness to neatly fit onto the narrow, 35-metre-high silo canvas (built in 1939).
Completed in late 2016, the artist’s depiction of the famously reserved Hulland portrays an image of the archetypal Aussie farmer – faded blue “flanny” (flannelette shirt) and all. Hulland’s solemn expression, sun-bleached hair and squinting gaze speak to the harshness of the environment and the challenges of life in the Wimmera Mallee.
Born in Lismore, New South Wales and raised in Brisbane, Fintan Magee was influenced by political art from a young age. His father emigrated to Australia from Northern Ireland in the early 1980s at a time of great conflict. Magee’s childhood was punctuated by regular journeys back to Northern Ireland, during which he was heavily influenced by the bold political and paramilitary murals he saw lining the streets.
Mixing surreal and figurative imagery with a trained artist’s discipline and technical skill, Magee’s work explores global themes of climate change, displacement and migration, as well as environmental issues such as his family’s experience in the devastating 2011 Brisbane floods. Understanding that not everyone has access to art galleries, Magee aims to make art more accessible to isolated communities and the general public.
Follow artist Fintan Magee on his website, Instagram and Facebook.
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