Rocket Science is the expression of a unique vision in drawings and sculpture that references pivotal events in modern history, with a wry look at the blind faith the West has in technology to realise the Colonial dream. It seems to be both the universal journey and the heroic path to explore our limitations and go where no other (supposedly) has gone before. To discover new horizons and resources when all else has been exploited, is the retro-futuristic fantasy of businessmen and multinationals everywhere.
Craig MacDonald deals with these subjects with a warmth and ironic humour that is edifying, as we contemplate the innocent and heroic qualities of Ham – Space Monkey preparing to go into space or the colonial soldier watching the might of Brittanica turn the desert to glass. Today, few Australians are aware of the extent of the fallout from the Maralinga explosions, traces of which were recorded as far away as Melbourne. Blindness was a real threat and Maralinga Man explores the notion of a more menacing blindness: that of ignorance coupled with colonial arrogance.
Other works set out to show the extraordinary lengths to which humanity will go in the search for power. Searching for another Amazon deals with this subject in a very humorous way with the spaceman at the top of a monumental mountain attempting to gain an edge by taking a stepladder with him. His colleagues labour behind him with their lawn mowers and TV sets only to arrive at the realisation that there is nothing there worth having, and their expectation to replicate life as we know it is nothing but a pointless exercise.
Influenced by the social political commentary of Goya and the satire of Magritte, Dali and Monty Python, Craig’s figures play out their psychodramas and attempts at greatness against the steely backdrop of the modern world. Rendered with a sympathetic realism that is not dictated to by artifice, his work provides an accessible and imaginative counterpoint to the vagaries of the neo – Colonial dream.
Craig MacDonald has exhibited his works at numerous award, solo and group exhibitions and his work is held in private and corporate collections in Australia and overseas. As the Master Founder at the Garage Art Foundry in Elphinstone, Central Victoria, Craig works with artists from all over Australia to realize their sculpture through the process of bronze casting, which is not rocket science.