Dani McKenzie's practice stems from an interest in the culture and history of vernacular photography as a private inventory, the ways in which we identify with such photographs, and how these processes of identification might be reassessed through contemporary painting. Mining through pre-existing images of the past in order to open up new possibilities - new images, new meanings - in the present, the paintings can be seen as instances of instability that are both strange and familiar. What appears to be concrete at first glance, begins to recede from the moment you look at it, until the certainty of the quasi-photographic image dissolves in a painterly surface of smudges, scrapes and blurs.
McKenzie graduated from the National Art School, Sydney in 2016. Whilst at the NAS she received the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award for both her BFA (Honours) and MFA degrees. She was also awarded the highly sought-after Onslow Storrier Residency at La Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, which she undertook in 2017. McKenzie has had several solo exhibitions in Melbourne and in Sydney, is the 2019 recipient of the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize, received the Nick Waterlow Award in the Macquarie Group Emerging Artist Prize in 2016, and was awarded the Belle ArtStart Prize in 2015.