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OUR COLLECTIVE

 Fellow Artists

Highland Collective artists are experienced and passionate. Above all, we’re a family of creative minds and qualified professionals in a variety of different fields who are bound by an undying passion for the arts. 

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STILL LIFE PAINTER

LLAEL MCDONALD

Llael McDonald's work is moody and nostalgic. with underlying narratives that change from viewer to viewer. Delving into the familiar and bringing forward the ordinary to be presented to an audience with emotional and visual elevation. Llael's early influences were Jeffrey Smart and Edward Hopper and in later years as her work evolved into what we see today. Llael cites the Flemish masters and Pre Raphaelites as a major influence on her work. Llael has sold her work into private and corporate collections in New York, Miami, France, UK  and Australia. She now has a studio in the Victorian highlands where she continues her painting practices, exhibitions and teaches private painting workshops. 

 

 

History 

Llael McDonald grew up in the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Spotswood and showed and early propensity toward the visual arts, particularly painting, which set her on the path as a professional artist at a young age. 

 

In her tertiary years Llael attended ICAD (independent college of Art and Design) situated in the creative and high energy hub of Chapel Street. She studied painting under artist Terri Matassonni and graduated with one of the top portfolios in 1996.



Selected Exhibitions

101 Collins in the CBD of Melbourne (1995),

The ICAD Galleries in Prahran, Melbourne (1993 to 1996)

The Cherry Tree Restaurant in Prahran, Melbourne (1996).

Pantechnicon Gallery in Daylesford in Joint exhibitions (2003) 
The Melbourne Art Fair (2004)
Pantechnicon gallery solo show. (2005) 
Pivotal Galleries in Richmond (2004 to 2005).
The Substation Newport (2007-2009)
UFFK Manhattan New York (2010)
Solo Show Arthouse Ink Gallery. (2011)
Group Exhibition Arthouse Ink Galleries, Yarraville. (2011)

Blue Raincoat Spotswood (2012)

The Black Dog Footscray (2012)

Fawn Gallery Collingwood (2013)

Solo Show, Catherine Abel Galleries (2014)

Solo Show, Cosmopolitan Trentham (2015)

Solo show, Cosmopolitan Hotel Trentham (2019)

Miami Basel 2019

Cosmopolitan Hotel (2020)

The Banquet, group exhibition Weswall GalleryTamworth NSW 2021. 

Sydney Affordable Art Fair 2022

Melbourne Affordable Art Fair 2022

Micheal Read Sydney and Le Cornue Australia exhibition 2022

Summer Salon Micheal Reid Northern Beaches 2022

Special Mini release of Llael work at Micheal Reid northern Beaches 2022

Solo show 'Sumptuous' Sketch Co gallery 2023

Solo Show 'Plenty' Sketch Co gallery 2023

 

Current Representation

 Little Gallery Trentham Vic 

 Sketch co Gallery Sydney 

 Michael Reid Norther Beaches 

 Toowoomba Gallery

Hanging Gallery New York, New York

Awards

Finalist in the Lethbridge Small Scale Art Prize 2014
Finalist in Bluethumb Art Prize 2017
Highly Commended Trentham Easter Art Show 2017 and 2019

Finalist in the Lethbridge Scale Art Prize 2022

Finalist in the Tacit still life art prize 2022

Finalist in the National Emerging art prize 2023

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SCULPTER

LARISSA GRAY

Larissa Gray grew up in a semi-rural area of Sydney, NSW surrounded by bushland and from an early age all Larissa ever wanted to do was to make art. 

Larissa was accepted into the competitive National Art School in Sydney at age 16. She majored in Sculpture and Photography, graduating in 1996 at age 20. Upon entering the wide world, she found her art degree and lack of life experience a formidable opponent in her struggle for survival, so she went off to find a job and herself. Not much art happened after that for quite some time as she became a tumble weed travelling overseas and around Australia and eventually embarking on a career with animals, her second love.

Larissa’s career with animals had her vet nursing, training, and working dogs for both state and federal governments in NSW, WA and VIC and eventually working in animal welfare. In 2012 this work eventually led her to Melbourne, Victoria and in 2016 she settled down in the regional town of Kyneton where she now lives with her partner and two dogs. A tumble weed no longer and with very many things to say and express Larissa’s art slowly come back into her life and daily practice. 

Larissa specialises in small scale bronze and mixed media sculptures, producing works that reflect the beauty and soul of nature and the environment around her. During her childhood surrounded by bushland, Larissa formed a deep affinity for the Australian bush and all the elements - colours, textures, scents, sounds - strongly influence her work. Her love of animals is also an ever-present feature in her work.

Larissa’s work has been described as quietly thought provoking. Themes throughout her work often explore the idea of a personal journey through the complexities of human nature and our relationship to the natural world. Through her imaginings Larissa hopes to evoke a wanderlust in the viewer, allowing them to travel through their dreams and memories, into a quiet place within they all too often forget to visit. 

In 2019 Larissa won a grant with the Macedon Ranges Shire council to produce 3 sculptures as part of a cultural exchange program with sister city of Tokai, Japan. These 3 works are now on permanent display in the Tokai Cultural Arts Centre.

BOTANICAL ARTIST

FREYA MACLAREN

is an artist and gardener living and working on the lands of the Dja Dja Warrung in Central Victoria. She creates intricate and detailed botanical illustrations in ballpoint pen combining a delicate realism with the complexity of botanic specimens.

Her work is concerned with the fragility of existence, the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of adversity.

In the garden Freya is captivated by the intricate beauty of plants as they journey and transform through their life cycle; from germination, bloom, reproduction, dispersal, and eventual decay. Her works, capturing plant specimens in variying life stages speak to the transience and impermanence that defines all life.

When collecting specimens Freya is drawn to the humble, imperfect and overlooked. She seeks the artistry in the ordinary, rejecting the easy beauty of perfection and acknowledging that true beauty often exists alongside struggle and hardship.

“We seek beauty, but our understanding of its nature is limited” Cooper Jones 2021

Freya began drawing botanical illustrations during the 2020 pandemic. In 2022 she exhibited her first works and in 2023 had two small local solo shows A Single Stem (The Cosmopolitan, Trentham) and Adaptation, Selection, Survival (Castlemaine Contemporary Art Space).

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