Alison McDonald - Casting Off - Jumpers and Jazz - Highlife Magazine - www.highlifemagazine.net

Alison McDonald and community helper

The Jumpers and Jazz in July visual art program has just added a big draw card with the recent announcement of award-winning artist Alison McDonald’s participation. A talented sculptor, McDonald’s work has achieved national success with collaborations such as Watermark at Newcastle Regional Gallery with artist Jane Gillings (2009) and Flow at Bondi’s Sculpture by the Sea (2013). Just last year her artwork Shimmer was the winner of Townsville’s Strand Ephemera sculpture festival.

Now the artist is preparing for her three-week residency with Warwick Art Gallery to create a temporary sculpture to be unveiled on the first day of the Jumpers and Jazz festival.

McDonald’s strong affiliation with themes of recycling and environment in her artwork is further explored in her new piece, reflecting the wider idea of social commentary explored in many of the projects created for the festival. The large work will be titled Casting Off and address the issue of the overuse and disposal of plastic.

“This art piece, created from everyday materials will carry a fun and quirky side that everyone can relate to whilst also delivering serious yet subtle concepts,” says the artist.

Highlife magazine - Alison McDonald - Jumpers and Jazz - Casting Off

Flow at Bondi’s Sculpture by the Sea (2013)

The construction will take place outside Warwick Art Gallery and will be a community effort. The large-scale work will require teamwork to be assembled and provides the opportunity for the public to become involved in the creation of the project.

Casting Off is not the only way McDonald will be involved with the festival. Once her piece is installed, the artist will be offering a sculptural workshop where participants will create their own Triffids – exotic and colourful predatory plants inspired by John Wyndham’s 1951 science fiction novel.

With a program of over 150 events from July 21 to 31, the festival will have plenty to offer on top of McDonald’s sculpture and workshop. Jumpers and Jazz in July, Warwick’s winter yarnbombing and jazz festival, is set to be a superb experience this winter.

Words by Taylor Thomas
Images from Alice McDonald