In Rafaella McDonald’s Untitled I, deep grooves have been carved by the artist into found wood and packed with icing sugar. A reference for Rafaella were the Renaissance sugar sculptures that were used as centrepieces in lavish celebrations. Rather than representational, Rafaella’s carving is intuitive and meandering, the pattern is traced in candy sweet colours. The inclusion of the plastic candle, found in a skip, gives it the effect of an altar. The work invites contemplation into material and mark-making.
Rafaella has a painting and sculptural practice, working across gallery settings, public spaces, and clothing. Her practice is concerned with the gestural elements of materials, documenting interactions between materials and the body. Since 2014 Rafaella has exhibited solo and group exhibitions in Melbourne’s not for profit and commercial galleries including Westspace, TCB Inc, Fort Delta and Daine Singer. She has completed several large public art work commissions for The Melbourne Metro Authority, The Substation, City of Stonnington, Shepparton Art Museum and Melbourne Fringe. Her work has been included the biennial Next Wave Festival for emerging artists, acquired by National Gallery of Victoria collection and private collections. In 2017 she was the recipient of the Midsumma Art Prize Award and received a Vic Arts Grant to undertake a month long residency in Los Angeles. Rafaella received First Class Honours at the Victorian College of the Arts (2015) and holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts from Melbourne University (2009). Her textile work has been included in publications such as Hessian Magazine and The Craft Companion (Thames and Hudson).