There is a consistent ‘unchanging’ in the suburbs. Time passes, people move in and move out, but the bones remain the same. Moving through unchanging spaces, we fabricate our own understanding of what we see. What is familiar to another’s experience of the suburbs – weatherboard houses, red brick, lino floors, 60s kitchens – is often familiar to our own and because of this there is a certain voyeuristic intrigue. How have others displayed their prized belongings? How has the furniture been arranged? Is there a rusted shell of a car in the backyard?
Despite their stasis and arguably because of it, the suburbs are fertile grounds for the imagination. In her upcoming body of work, Home Sick, Margaret McIntosh presents a series of paintings that tap into the allure of the suburbs. McIntosh’s paintings feel like home, or the home of somebody you used to know, the sharehouse next door or your grandparents house. As with all of McIntosh’s work, there is a distinct sense of place. Even in her bushland camping scenes, far from the suburbs, we see the spot we camped at in our early twenties and the tents we stored in our parent’s sheds.
Like the suburbs themselves, Margaret McIntosh invites audiences to connect the dots with their own speculations and their own sense of home. The work is innately nostalgic, evoking a sense of homesickness for places we’ve never been, but are nonetheless a part of the landscape of our memories.
McIntosh holds a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Victorian College of the Arts, where she
was the recipient of the Maude Gover Fleay Award. In 2016 she completed a Master of
Art Therapy from Latrobe University. Her work has been presented in numerous solo
and group exhibitions nationally.