Harriet McKay is in her final year of a Bachelor of Contemporary Art at the University of South Australia in Adelaide, Australia. McKay works with both manufactured materials and perceived natural materials to create paintings, textile works, sculptures, and installation work. Born in Brisbane, Australia, McKay’s interest in the beauty of objects, forms, materials and colour developed at an early age through watching her mother’s veracious habit of collecting antique goods and everyday items which she travelled across the world to acquire and place in her carefully curated house. Since then, McKay has painted murals across the world, including several in her home town Adelaide, Brighton, UK, Tennessee, USA and in Rota, Spain as a part of a residency she finished at the beginning of 2018 at Pinea Linea De Costa.
McKay’s work revolves around the idea that both ecology and landscape are fluid concepts - imagined spaces that are mouldable and adaptable. Starting from the premise that there is no nature, McKay rejects the psychological distance to it that was fostered by the Romanticists and embraces a more rounded view which incorporates plastics, machines and technologies into a new perception of landscape and ecology which includes humans and human inventions. McKay draws this idea out through her use of both manufactured materials and perceived natural materials to create paintings, textile works, sculptures, and installation work.