David Mackay began his career at the age of 15 when he was commissioned to illustrate a book on orchids. He has a degree in botany from the University of Sydney and has worked as a scientific illustrator at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, the National Botanic Gardens of Papua New Guinea and (as a visiting artist) at Kew Gardens in London, the University of California at Berkeley and the Linnean Society Herbarium in London. He has illustrated well over 200 books and scientific papers. More than 5000 of his drawings and paintings have been published. His paintings have been exhibited in Australia, England, USA, Italy, Spain, Japan and Papua New Guinea. His work is represented in public collections in Australia, England, USA and Papua New Guinea and in private collections around the world.
“Drawing and painting help me to make sense of an incredibly rich and complex world. Every painting and drawing I do involves a process of exploration, a path to understanding. The intention behind presenting my work is to take the viewer with me on the exploration – to involve the viewer of the work in the process as well as in the final product, for us both to make discoveries, to wonder but also to learn and in the end to take away some small gain in clarity and understanding”