William Mackinnon

William Mackinnon showing in Melbourne Now at the National Gallery of Victoria

We are excited to share that William Mackinnon is showing in ‘Melbourne Now’ at the Ian Potter Centre, National Gallery of Victoria, opening from Friday 24th March 2023.

Bold in scale, ‘Melbourne Now’ will be displayed throughout all levels of The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, including permanent collection galleries, showcasing new works and commissions by emerging, mid-career and senior practitioners as well as local collectives.

The painting Home and Away was featured in William Mackinnon's highly anticipated exhibition of the same name. This body of work continues the artist’s affinity with the quintessential Australian landscape in large-scale cinematic paintings which depict some of his most iconic imagery. He explores the possibilities of painting through what is often a fantastical representation of the environment around him: whether it be a roadscape, landscape, or dreamscape.

‘Melbourne Now’ is open to the public from 24 March to 20 August 2023. Visit the NGV website here for more information.


Pictured: William Mackinnon, Home and Away, 2021-22, acrylic, oil and automotive enamel on linen, 260 x 200 cm

William Mackinnon announced as finalist in Arthur Guy Memorial Prize

Congratulations to William Mackinnon who has been selected as a finalist in the prestigious Arthur Guy Memorial Prize with his painting Strive for the light.

Held every two years, the Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize attracts some of Australia’s most accomplished artists, awarding a generous acquisitive cash prize of $50,000. The Prize provides Bendigo Art Gallery with the opportunity to survey a breadth of contemporary painting by established and emerging artists from across Australia.

The Prize was initiated by Mr Allen Guy CBE (1917-2007) to honour his brother Arthur Guy (1914-1945) whose life was tragically cut short whilst in military service in New Guinea. Inaugurated in 2003, Bendigo Art Gallery acknowledges all those who have contributed to the success of the Prize and look forward to the continuation of this prestigious and highly regarded acquisitive prize.

The finalists’ exhibition opens at Bendigo Art Gallery on Saturday 20 November, and will be on display until Sunday 13 February, 2022. For more information, visit the Bendigo Art Gallery website.

Hugo Michell Gallery Open: William Mackinnon + Pip Ryan

Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of William Mackinnon’s ‘Learning to Love the Wind’ and Pip Ryan’s ‘Flesh Creepers’.

*Please note*

-Due to the current government restrictions we are unable to serve refreshments at this exhibition opening.
-If you wish to join us for the opening of these exhibitions, RSVP is essential.


In 2018 Mackinnon was injured in a surfing accident, which meant he had to change the way he painted in order to produce his large-scale canvases. This injury, followed by pandemic-induced lockdown, may have tested his mettle, however he has come to appreciate that such obstacles can trigger breakthroughs, thus the title of this show, ‘Learning to love the wind’…
As a mid-career artist who’s exhibited in Australia and overseas for close to two decades, Mackinnon is increasingly alert to “the delicate thread” that connects one painting – and body of work – to the next. “Something is revealed as the way forward. Battling through difficulty towards something beautiful is what it means to be human, to be conscious and to have potential. Ultimately, I’m trying to convey what it feels like to be alive in the world.” – text by Tony Magnusson



‘Flesh Creepers’ is a new series of works by Pip Ryan that began whilst on residency at Bundanon Trust in November 2019 and has continued throughout the pandemic. Both Bundanon and the lockdown are spaces that are isolated, one in the landscape and one in the domestic setting, lending themselves to a world where the things around you can morph and mutate.
This body of work draws heavily from an ongoing series of darkly comical beasts and playful surreal imagery. Banal objects are reconfigured and anthropomorphised, absurdly transforming the familiar into the uncanny as they slip further from their domestic space.
Exhibition Opening Thursday 3 September 6-8pm
Exhibition runs from: 3 September – 3 October


Hugo Michell Gallery acknowledges the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region, and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Kaurna people today.

Hugo Michell Gallery Open: William Mackinnon | Min Wong

Hugo Michell Gallery invites you to the opening of William Mackinnon’s ‘The Lucky Country?’ and Min Wong’s ‘Born to give not to get’.

Spending two years between 2008 and 2010 in the Kimberley and Central Australia, William Mackinnon states that the timing of this experience helped him to ‘find his own voice as an artist’.

Having previously spent over a decade within an educational and institutional setting, studying at the University of Melbourne (2000), Chelsea School of Art and Design (2006) and completing his Masters at the Victorian College of the Arts (2008). It was the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship (2008), which afforded him the opportunity to spend time away from formal education.

Mackinnon began the two-year Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship, by spending twelve months in the Kimberley region of Western Australia firstly as artist in residence at Mangkaja Arts, Fitzroy Crossing. In 2010 he moved to Central Australia working as a field officer for Papunya Tula Artists. Before this time, Mackinnon was working, learning, collecting, growing up, building an extensive language and refining his skill. Keen to explore and experience a wider Australia, Mackinnon began this self-directed time with senior Indigenous artists to further an understanding and appreciation of Country and culture.

In his latest series ‘The Lucky Country?’ Mackinnon revisits this significant period of time after a number of years living abroad. An extended period of absence has allowed him an interval to reflect and reconnect with lessons lived with for a decade.

Min Wong appropriates material culture from 1970’s to revisit this significant era of spiritual countercultures and the mash up of Eastern and Western mysticism. Writer Eric Davis describes this phenomena as the ‘modern esoteric’, a combination of anthropology and mystical pulp, between cultural criticism and extraordinary experience. More recent tendencies of contemporary spirituality is the self-help and therapeutic culture spawned from the ideology of the ‘New Age’ and its dogma practice that spiritual enlightenment comes from the self rather than the radical collective. By looking back to investigate utopian elements of previous eras, Min’s practice seeks to explore ways of understanding the contemporary esoteric and examine the illusory hopes, desire, failure and authentic search for meaning in the contemporary dystopic.

‘Born to give not to get’ examines the commodification of the spiritual self through high performing branding and prescriptive spiritual accessories such as yoga, activewear and affirmative phrases. The installation sits inside an ‘interior’, referencing gym equipment and athletic apparatus’ appropriating tropes of the self care industry. In its genuine state, self-care can be a defiant act for social justice, a holistic approach that includes emotional, mental and spiritual fulfillment that also supports the utopian collective. This exhibition examines this contemporary dilemma.

Please join us on Thursday the 18th in celebrating these two incredible exhibitions!

See the Facebook event here.

Archibald and Wynne Prize

Congratulations to Fiona McMonagle who has been selected as a finalist in the Archibald Prize! Our Congratulations also extend to William Mackinnon who has been selected as a finalist in both the Archibald and Wynne Prize!

You can see the finalists exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from May 12 to September 9 with the winner to be announced on May 11.

Archibald Prize Finalist – William Mackinnon, The long apprenticeship, 2018, acrylic, oil and automotive enamel on linen, 95 x 125.5 cm

William Mackinnon’s painting is a self-portrait. ‘For many years, I got jobs in a self-styled apprenticeship where I could learn from exceptional artists,’ he says. ‘I watched Jeffrey Smart paint, helped catalogue the Roger Kemp estate, worked as Tim Maguire’s studio assistant, and as Kim Westcott’s printmaking assistant. I was an intern at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice and at Donald Judd’s Chinati Foundation in Texas.’

In 2010, Mackinnon was a field officer at Papunya Tula, an Aboriginal artist cooperative in the Western Desert. ‘That is where this image comes from. Sitting with Naata Nungurrayi, 500km west of Alice Springs, mixing her paint and watching her sing and paint, was an extraordinary privilege,’ he says.

At age 28, Mackinnon went to the Chelsea College of Arts in London, then completed a Master of Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts. He now lives between Melbourne and Spain, and paints full-time. ‘Looking back, it’s not a bad CV but at the time it was precarious and disjointed. I want that to come across in the painting. As an artist, you have to live by your wits, create opportunities and find your own voice. It is scary at times but an incredibly rewarding way to be in the world.’

This is Mackinnon’s first time in the Archibald Prize and the second year in a row he has been a finalist in the Wynne Prize.

Archibald Prize Finalist – Fiona McMonagle, Sangeeta Sandrasegar, 2018, oil on linen, 101.5 x 88.5 cm

Dr Sangeeta Sandrasegar is a Melbourne artist currently based in Germany. Born in Brisbane to Malaysian and Australian parents, she spent the first part of her life between both countries before settling in Melbourne where she studied at the Victorian College of the Arts. She has exhibited nationally and internationally since 2000.

‘When I first began the process of choosing a sitter, I knew one thing: that I wanted to paint an inspiring, strong woman, also one that I connected with. It just so happened that one of my closest friends fitted the bill perfectly,’ says Fiona McMonagle of her first Archibald portrait.

‘Our close friendship has allowed me to be privy to her innermost thoughts and I believe this has given me the insight to paint her from the inside out, looking past her physical beauty and gentle nature to uncover her true strength and determination.

‘On approaching this portrait, I wanted to capture all the complexities that make up Sangeeta’s personality and directly confront the viewer as if to say: “Don’t underestimate me”. Her face is partly covered by her hair so as not to reveal too much and to suggest she is keeping just a bit to herself.’

Richard Lewer and William Mackinnon announced as FINALISTS in the Archibald and Wynne Prize

Congratulations to Richard Lewer, who has been selected as a Finalist in the 2017 Archibald Prize, and to William Mackinnon, who is a Finalist in the 2017 Wynne Prize!

Richard Lewer FINALIST in 2017 Archibald Prize

Elizabeth Laverty and her late husband Colin were among the first art collectors to travel the country and stay in remote Aboriginal communities, to visit the art centres, and to meet the artists whose work they were falling in love with. Over several decades, they built one of Australia’s best collections of Indigenous Australian contemporary art and worked tirelessly to raise money for community health and recreational facilities.

Over several decades, they built one of Australia’s best collections of Indigenous Australian contemporary art and worked tirelessly to raise money for community health and recreational facilities.

“I didn’t know any of this when I first met Liz, a year after Colin’s death. Prompted by my animation depicting a tragic love story about an elderly couple, we launched into a long conversation about life, love, and death. It was easy to feel an instant rapport with Liz – a fellow red-head – because she is a warm, passionate, humble woman,” says Richard Lewer. “I remember when I asked Liz if I could paint her portrait, her first response was, “Why would you want to paint me, what have I done?””

William Mackinnon FINALIST in 2017 Wynne Prize

“I call my work psychological landscapes. In a way, the roads and houses are always something more than just roads and houses. The cracks, drains, shadows rips, and glitter are stand-ins for emotional states, or symbolic of greater themes of life. I am interested in communicating what it feels like to be in our world in this time. The more personal I seem to make my paintings, the more they connect with others.”

The 2017 Wynne Prize, for the best landscape painting of Australian scenery or figure sculpture, will be awarded on the evening of July 28. Exhibition runs from July 29 to October 22 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Exhibition runs from July 29 to October 22 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and the Winner will be announced on the evening of July 28.

James Dodd and William Mackinnon, Finalists in Hadley’s Art Prize

Congratulations to James Dodd and William Mackinnon, who have both been selected as Finalists in the inaugural Hadley’s Art Prize, Hobart! Australia’s richest landscape prize, it is an acquisitive prize valued at $100,000. Held annually to celebrate painting, printing and drawing, the Prize aims to reconnect with the history of art exhibitions at the Hadley’s Orient Hotel, which was built in 1834.

The 2017 theme is History and Place; the Prize will be awarded to the best portrayal of the Australian landscape which acknowledges the past.

Exhibition opens July 14, where the Winner will be announced. The exhibition will run from July 15 through August.

William Mackinnon’s The World is as You Are at Hamilton Gallery

William Mackinnon will present a solo exhibition, The World is as You Are, at Hamilton Gallery in Victoria.

Hamilton Art Gallery was established in 1961 and is situated in the city-centre of Hamilton, Western Victoria. It is a perfect location for an exhibition of Mackinnon’s work, who himself grew up in regional Victoria. A connection through place is demonstrated in subject matter within the paintings, often reflecting local landmarks.

Exhibition opens September 16 and runs until October 30.
For more details, click here.

William Mackinnon’s ‘Internal Weather’ in The Adelaide Review

Jane Llewellyn reviews William Mackinnon’s Internal Weather for The Adelaide Review, now at Hugo Michell Gallery:

““I really want to get across my experience and the feelings associated with these places,” Mackinnon says. “It’s not really representational of a place; it’s almost more a psychological feeling of going somewhere or leaving.””

Read more here!

Narelle Autio, Trent Parke, Richard Lewer & William Mackinnon, Finalists in the 2016 Basil Sellers Prize

Narelle Autio, Trent Parke, Richard Lewer and William Mackinnon have been announced as finalists in the 2016 Basil Sellers Art Prize!

This prestigious prize is supported by Basil Sellers in order to encourage contemporary artists to develop their practice, to engage with the many themes within sport past and present, and to contribute to critical reflection on all forms of sport and sporting culture in Australia.

Finalists are exhibited at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, and the winner will be awarded an acquisitive prize of $100,000 in July 2016.

Congratulations to Narelle, Trent, Richard and William!