Author(s): Travis McDonald
The Cavern is the debut artist book by Melbourne-based painter Travis MacDonald. Drawing on key works from the last three years, the book forwards MacDonald's quietly idiosyncratic take on the more traditional genres of figuration and landscape painting, revealing a sensitivity and wit that extends to both his surroundings and that of art history.
At once dreamlike in its atmosphere and palette, and dry in its humour, The Cavern speaks not so much to a wider historical narrative, but to fragments of time within it. These works read as untethered; anomalies and oddities (some subtle, some silly) punctuate and reanimate otherwise nondescript, potentially nostalgic scenes. A stretched limousine slips its way along an arched country bridge; a round-shouldered boy sits mutely at the family piano as we await the first strike of the ivories; a girl rides sidesaddle on a white horse (she wears a full-face motorcycle helmet).
From his Cavern, MacDonald offers a contemplative and ever-so slightly incongruous vantage on the world as we thought we knew it.