Driving his passion to Horsham art gallery

ROAD trips have inspired a new exhibition of contemporary paintings in Horsham Regional Art Gallery.

Melbourne artist William Mackinnon's 'Paintings conceived while driving' solo show continues until October 7.

The director of Melbourne gallery Utopian Slumps, Melissa Loughnan, will officially open Mackinnon's exhibition on Sunday at 3pm.

Horsham Regional Art Gallery director Adam Harding said Mackinnon's works stemmed from the intersection between reality and imagination; what he physically perceives and what he imagines.

"For many years, the car has changed the way that Mackinnon sees the world; it is as integrated into his life as the internet is for many others," he said.

"These works have been influenced by the many hours Mackinnon has spent in cars.

"But ultimately this is an exhibition about the possibilities of painting.

"The motion of a vehicle never fails to stimulate Mackinnon's mind.

"For the artist, the movement, the soundtrack, the windscreen is all cinematic; his own road movie unfolds.

"To Mackinnon, there is nothing quite like driving alone at night in the rain.

"Heading somewhere, leaving somewhere, perpetually cast in a contemplative space."

Mackinnon has a Masters from the Victorian College of the Arts, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and a post-graduate diploma from London's Chelsea College of the Arts.

He won a travelling scholarship in 2008 and became artist-in-residence at indigenous arts resource agency Mankaja Arts in Western Australia the following year.

On Sunday Loughnan will discuss the challenges of running her commercial art gallery, which she originally launched as a not-for-profit organisation to promote underground art. "Utopian Slumps exemplifies the utopian ideals of an artist and the slumps of reality; it's hard to be an artist, it's hard to pay the bills and sometimes you have an idea you can't quite execute," she said.

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