Brett McMahon is a Newcastle based artist who works across a range of art making disciplines. Primarily focusing on large scale paper and canvas works, his practice also incorporates sound, video and sculptural installations. McMahon has exhibited extensively since 1989.
In 2015, Newcastle Art Gallery presented a survey exhibition of his work, Distillation: the art of Brett McMahon. In 2016 he completed Melaleuca, a large scale public art commission for the New South Wales State Courthouse development in Newcastle. Since 2000, the development and breakdown of pattern and structure has been a constant theme that has threaded through his work. Rhythms and forms that occur where man-made and nature intersect. He materialises these convergences largely by working outdoors - soaking seams of paper in gesso, heat and rain; sanding colour and dust deep into canvas and linen. Recent work has drawn on material gathered on trips to Malaysia, centred around his partner’s family neighbourhood in Kuala Lumpur. Titled Taman Bahagia, this series explores built structures being broken down and degraded by the constants of climate and human traffic.
In 2017 exhibitions include solo shows at NKN gallery Melbourne, University of Newcastle in conjunction with the Newcastle Music festival, Annandale Galleries in Sydney. Brett is a casual academic in the Architecture department of the University of Newcastle. His work is represented in public and private collections, both nationally and internationally.