What's On

Crowd Stance

Rafaella McDonald

Presented in Season 1 2022

Presented by Arts House

Fri 11 Feb – Sun 12 Jun, 2022
Mon – Fri, 11am – 4pm


Arts House
North Melbourne Town Hall
521 Queensberry St,
North Melbourne

Read our COVID-19 Safety Plan here.

Wheelchair Accessible

Be swept up by this large scale installation rendered in striking colour and an irresistible style.

An imaginary collective of bodies made up of countless feet and hands will draw you into a dizzy dance that will lift your heels from the ground.

Rafaella McDonald’s expansive installation Crowd Stance uses bold colour, intuitive mark making and abstracted, cartoon-like outlines of the body in various moments of action. These individual snapshots playing within and against the whole, playfully mimicking the exchanges of energy and thought that occur when people gather.

Evoking a sense of the epic and the intimate, the work explores the ways people experience themselves both within and distinct from the crowd.

Crowd Stance is free and will take over Arts House’s foyer for six months – it’ll be hard to miss it.


Artist Statement

I am interested in the threshold of control in painting, and the tensions or opportunities that occur when you lose or regain control with this material. In making Crowd Stance a sense of ‘lifting off’ took over; I remember having an urge to dance as I made the work, the energy of the colour and mark making transferred to my body.

With site responsive works such as Crowd Stance, I look at movement, bodies and the nature of work in the area, historical or otherwise, to replicate processes and bodily shapes through mark making. In my practice I work playfully across traditional and non-traditional materials such as paint, resin, ceramic, sugar, natural dye pigments and commercial dye pigments, working with the idea that materials and matter have their own agencies. There is a material tussle in painting, where you play with loss of control. This also can manifest in public or in a crowd dancing, where you become a part of a larger sum of people. This sense of being consumed or within something that is the sum of its parts is explored in this work.

About the Artist

Rafaella McDonald is an artist living in Narrm and works in gallery settings, public spaces, on clothing and in collaborative performance. Rafaella has exhibited work at the National Gallery of Victoria, Footscray Community Art Centre, Westspace Gallery, TCB Art Inc, The Substation and in the biennial Next Wave Festival for emerging artists. They have painted large-scale mural commissions for the Moonee Valley City Council, Metro Melbourne and City of Stonnington and their work has been collected by public and private collections across Australia.

Image credit: Rafaella McDonald

Image description: A series of vibrant and colourful markings and shapes in green, red, pink, purple, yellow and white that may suggest people and movement.

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