Water flows through Kerry McInnis’s new exhibition, ‘River’. It not only ripples through the exhibition’s title but also courses through her works. Since McInnis was a child in Guatemala, the river’s undertow has pulled at her—always looming with the promise of the unknown. It is this feeling of liquid magnetism that the artist captures in her work and shares with us. Here, arterial waterways pump life into both the outback and the canvas—animating the land and the painted ground in the same gesture, and the same brushstroke. “The river is a device for moving freely through the landscape but also through the painting,” McInnis explains. “The waterway compositionally pulls the viewer in, so that they are on a journey, so that they stand on the embankment.”But McInnis’ works represent more than just the specificities of a particular landscape. While the artist often works en plein air, directly engaging with the environment, her studies seem to capture an emotional landscape as much as they do a physical one. Indeed, even if you have never stood at the point where the water meets the land, her works suggest something of that intangible feeling—something that moves beyond its mere physicality. These are spaces of openness that invite the mind, as well as the eye, to explore. “I’m becoming more interested in making a universal landscape,” McInnis says. “I want the viewer to see something that is familiar to them, even if it is not the place that I’m painting.”While McInnis’ works are landscapes, they do not present the safe or picturesque scenes that we have seen before. Instead, these bodies of water hold a gravity and retain a raw immediacy. The almost psychic force of McInnis’ works find their origins in her initial studies—which the artist executes alone in the landscape, kilometres away from the world of other humans. “I like the feeling of being alone in the bush. I’m slightly fearful much of the time, but I feel alive and connected,” explains McInnis. “I work a little bit frantically, there is this kind of edge of fear and mystery.” Almost like the movement of water, this primal beauty seeps its way into her paintings, osmotically moving from the artist to the artwork. Here, we still find serenity, yet it is a charged quietness that has somehow been rendered more intense.By Tai Mitsuji


13 Ormiston, Oil on Canvas, 40x40cm, 2020
McInnis_Walker Creek_Oil on Canvas_90 x120cm_master-
McInnis_Umbrawarra_Oil on Canvas_90 x120cm_master
McInnis_The Morning Fish_Oil on Canvas,_60 x75cm_master
McInnis_The Burnt Creek_Mixed Media on Paper_Master
McInnis_South Alligator_acrylic on canvas_60x75cm_master
McInnis_Snowy River_Mixed Media on Paper_master
McInnis_River Shadow_Oil on Canvas_90 x120cm_master
McInnis_River Painter_Oil on Canvas_60x75cm_Master
McInnis_Nitmiluk_Oil on Canvas_60 x75cm_master
McInnis_Night River_Oil on Canvas_60x75cm_master
McInnis_Morning, Ormiston_Acrylic on Canvas_90 x120cm_master
McInnis_Last Light_oil on canvas_122 x 167cm_Master
McInnis_JimJim_Mixed Media on Paper_master
McInnis_Geike Gorge Sketch_ mixed media on paper
McInnis_Fitzroy_Mixed Media on Paper_master
McInnis_Embankment_Oil on Canvas_50x50cm_master
McInnis_Deua_Oil on Canvas_90 x120cm_master
McInnis_Darling River_Oil on Canvas_60 x 75cm_master
McInnis_Darling River_mixed media on paper_58 x 70cm_master
McInnis_Afternoon Mystery Bay_oil on canvas_35 x 45cm (2)
14 RockyCave, Oil on Canvas, 40x40cm, 2020