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'Things is crook in Tallarook', an Australian colloquialism, speaks to a time when ‘making-do’ with great ingenuity and resourcefulness was a necessity.

Nook takes as its starting point the ubiquitous blue and white bowls and mugs, used by itinerant workers and swaggies who built the railway, or wandered along its thoroughfare.

Inspired by the making of cotton-reel bush furniture, fabricated ‘bowls’ are joined to shape the sentinel forms.

In material, form and pattern, Nook recalls the domestic and the industrial, the railway signage and the metal kitchenware both finished in vitreous enamel by the same Victorian company that has operated continuously since the 1890s.

Nook marks a new beginning, the start of the trail and a restful corner to contemplate earlier paths.

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About the artist

Donna Marcus


Donna Marcus is an Australian artist best known for her use of vast collections of discarded aluminium kitchenware. Constructed from discarded kitchen utensils – plastic and aluminium teapots, lids, jelly moulds, steamers, colanders, egg poachers and bottle-tops – her sculptures draw viewers into a world of kitchens both remembered and imagined.

Marcus is engaged by the stories evoked by these objects, and by the familiarity they engender in many viewers. Their original uses are recalled and extended by the process of assemblage, as they are combined into the repetitive forms of modernist grids and spheres. The materials themselves generate another layer of reference, and further extend the modernist impulse to regularity, repetition, and dream.

Marcus has exhibited extensively both within Australia and internationally, appearing in major sculpture survey and award exhibitions at institutions such as the Museum of Art and Design, New York, the National Gallery of Australia and the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.

Her work is held in numerous public and private collections, nationally and internationally, and has been the subject of several scholarly and journalistic publications.

Learn more about Donna Marcus:

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About the project

Art on the Great Victorian Rail Trail brings walkers and riders on a journey of artistic discovery through beautiful Taungurung Country.

In 2021 Murrindindi, Mitchell and Mansfield Shire Councils were successful in receiving $1.2 million through the Victorian Government’s Regional Tourism Investment Fund to create large-scale art installations along the Great Victorian Rail Trail.

Eight artists were engaged to create seven major art installations and 20 smaller works that have been placed along the length of the trail. You can discover them all here.