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Glenda Mackay: Detritus

A black and red record player on top on a white plinth with several boxes of records next to it.

Glenda Mackay
Detritus, 2020
Murray Art Museum Albury
Image by Jeremy Weihrauch

Detritus was an exploration of grief and loss through collage, sculpture, and installation.

Artist Glenda Mackay created the works after her parents passed away, and she underwent a journey of clearing out the family home.

"Much was sold or given away, but still there was much left over: linen too worn for donation, family photos, financial records, craft work saved from our childhoods, personal items given as gifts, holiday souvenirs. In the end I was faced with the disposal of the stuff nobody else wanted: two lives reduced to the detritus of kept objects."

The meaning held within the objects became the subject of her artwork, as she processed her grief in the making, combining, reorganising, re-imagining, and finding of a final purpose for each item, from tax returns and photographs, to linen and music.

"Clearing the detritus from the homes of close family is a task that eventually falls to most of us. We must dampen our grief to deal with the everyday job of cleaning up and clearing out, our own memories tangled up with the people just passed, our memories jogged, jarred and jangled as each cupboard door is opened."

Glenda Mackay is an artist based in Rutherglen, Victoria. Her exhibition was presented as part of Murray Art Museum Albury’s Open Call program.

 Large newspaper articles from the past connected in a concertina shape
Glenda Mackay,

Detritus, 2020
Murray Art Museum Albury
Image by Jeremy Weihrauch

Receipts and other paper notes layered together on a square artwork. Multiple black square lines are printed over the top going towards the centre and getting smaller
Glenda Mackay

Detritus, 2020
Murray Art Museum Albury
Image by Jeremy Weihrauch

Large receipts and notes layered together in a rectangle shape. On the lower half of the collage artwork are long black lines.
Glenda Mackay

Detritus, 2020
Murray Art Museum Albury
Image by Jeremy Weihrauch

A large red and brown handmade blanket made from found fabric hanging from the ceiling.
Glenda Mackay

Detritus, 2020
Murray Art Museum Albury
Image by Jeremy Weihrauch

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