Leading Australian artist Catherine O’Donnell has returned to Orange to hold a major exhibition of her works at Orange Regional Gallery, including an almost life-sized sculpture of a fibro house.
Beyond the Shadow, which opened on Friday 8 July, is a survey of the artist’s drawings, sculptures and installations over the past decade, which explore the architecture, culture and history of everyday suburban spaces.
Ms O’Donnell is known for her highly detailed black and white drawings of ubiquitous suburban architecture, with a focus on low-income mid-century Australian architecture.
The Blue Mountains artist is one of the contributors to the Future City Public Art Project and ‘paste-ups’ of her detailed drawings can be seen on walls in McNamara Lane, Post Office Lane and Anson Street.
Orange City Council’s Services Policy Committee Chair, Cr Mel McDonell is pleased Ms O’Donnell has chosen Orange as the location to launch the exhibition.
“This is a real treat for our region, to be able to see these incredibly detailed works that have been created over the past 10 years, and the artist has even included local elements in the exhibition,” Cr McDonell said.
“Her incredibly detailed artworks bring out the beauty of everyday urban architecture that often goes unnoticed in day-to-day life.”
For the exhibition, Ms O’Donnell created her first major sculpture Fibro Majestic (2022), a 75-per cent scale sculpture of a fibro house. The house floats in the gallery space, with each of the four sides showcasing facades of different homes from housing estates in Green Valley, Western Sydney, Grafton and Orange.
Green Valley was the first grand estate built by the housing commission in the early 1960s and was the largest public housing estate in the Sydney Basin. Ms O’Donnell grew up in a fibro house in Green Valley, which is where her interest and knowledge of the geometric design of the fibro house grew from an early age.
She has also created a small sculpture of a fibro house in Orange, modelled on a real house in Glenroi.
Orange Regional Gallery is open daily from 10am to 4pm.