Patterns on the Landscape features eye-popping geometry that transforms two-dimensional flat surface paintings into three-dimensional realms that open up before your eyes. Almost in contrast with the exact angles and impeccably executed lines, it is the pulsating colours and designs of the natural world that inspire her works.
Inspired by the traditions of her people the Budjiti as well as by the environment of her homelands within the Paroo River watershed country of southwest Queensland and northwest New South Wales, McNiven translates the richness of these environments into exciting contemporary works. She began working in this style twenty years ago applying it to t-shirts as well as hand painting lino prints and has now developed her practice to working on canvas and producing sculptures. McNiven connects the Indigenous tradition of interesting geometric patterns with similar movements in the Western art historical tradition such as optical art which was a popular style in the 1960s. These paintings rich not only in colour and visual affect but also in the connections they make between converging cultures and traditions.
Adapted from catalogue essay by Isabelle Morgan; photography by Brenton McGeachie.