Artist feature: Mackenzie Wharton

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Image: Northern Tasmanian artist Mackenzie Wharton with their work titled Reverence 

'My work is about how I present within Tasmania as part of the general community,' Mackenzie said.

'I grew up here, I've always been here. I have moved away, but I always find myself gravitating back.

'I'm kind of in a bit of limbo in myself, being bi-sexual in a straight presenting relationship. A lot of people forget that I'm queer.

'My work is about how I connect with myself and my community and how I wanted the world to see me. Do I want to keep hiding or did I want to be completely out?

'Having a child and telling her to be her authentic self, and that there's nothing wrong with being different, I couldn’t very well keep telling her to do that and keep other aspects of myself hidden. So, this process has actually been quite cathartic and quite a good process for me.


Image: Mackenzie Wharton, Reverence (2022) [detail].

How has it felt to be featured within Grounded: Place is Space?

'It's fantastic. I have been an artist for a while, but I had stepped away from it. Coming out as an emerging artist again has been actually really great.

'It is always hard to know where to start, but I've been able to be part of a community who are on the same wave length as me, and want to share ideas and connect through exhibitions such as this.

What advice would you share with emerging artists?

'My advice to emerging artists is to never give up, and never stop trying.

'You will always be very critical of your own work, we are our worst critics. But try to find other creatives that you can form a network with and just keep putting in and submitting, and trying.

'Eventually one day it will all click, and you'll find your own space and your own confidence and then you never know what's going to happen from there.'