Organic Patterns: Art by Louise McRae

An artwork made with an assembly of painted woodRain Reign

Louise McRae uses her art practice to explore notions of time and space outside the picture plane. In her compositions, McRae utilizes, chunks of found construction wood, placing oddly-shaped pieces together to create organic patterns.

An assemblage of painted found woodSong for Tane

The artist tends to paint first on larger pieces of scrap timber, splitting them into smaller shards after the fact. These shards are then assembled as two and three-dimensional wall-hanging works -- the tension between these two styles reminds me of work by Pierre-Luc Deziel. The nature of the material itself is a big factor in McRae’s process, and the wood – building materials from a rural or suburban environment – becomes transformed in a way that is interesting both visually and conceptually when it’s placed in the polished, clean space of a gallery.


I really enjoy the way Louise uses color in her works as well. While the color is very present, and often vibrant, it never seems to obscure the materiality of the underlying wood. Thus the scraps of wood, while given new life, still reference their previous existence as building materials, even to the intermittent space of being discarded.

An assemblage artwork made with chunks of wood painted yellowUntitled

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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