The Tanks Arts Centre, Cairns
August 3rd – September 11th, 2014
Another six week residency, this time in balmy Cairns, based at the Tanks Arts Centre and the Cairns Botanic Gardens. Surrounded by the most extraordinarily verdant gardens, I created a body of work based on the often unnoticed workers who make the centre operate interwoven with the sometimes overlooked plant-life.
The residency was very challenging as the works were all watercolour on paper; coupled with the tight timeframe of starting and completing an entire exhibition in five weeks in an unfamiliar environment, it was certainly a stretch. As well, the residency required that three days a week be spent painting live at the Botanic Gardens.
Overall,it was a great experience.
Thirning Villa, Ashfield
July 22nd – August 30th, 2013
During a six week period in Winter, 2013, I completed a residency at Ashfield. During that time, I worked on 18 paintings, 14 of which were exhibited at the end of the residency. The works were portraits based on images of children I took in orphanages in Cambodia, Thailand, Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia in 2012.
I didn’t want to produce World Vision/ ‘donate now’ type images. I just wanted to celebrate beautiful kids who smile regardless of what we think of their living conditions. Some of these kids have been saved from child prostitution, abuse, starvation, war and other atrocities. Some are very psychologically damaged if physically whole.
The exhibition was titled “In the Raw” as the resultant paintings were executed quickly without the final polish that I usually give a work before exhibition. As well, these kids are the raw material of tomorrow for their respective countries, only lacking in education and opportunity. Sometimes the orphanages provide opportunities but they need money to do it. No-one can change the world but to change the life of one little kid through child sponsorship changes that child’s world for them.
The painting “Oh the Hopes I have for you, Grandchild” was chosen by Ashfield Council to join their collection at the end of the residency.
Under the floorboards 2012
During September, 2012, I was artist in residence with Uniting Care Ballarat as part of their “Under the Floorboards” programme which involves 12 artists spending a month highlighting one of Uniting Care’s programmes.
‘Everyone’s journey is different, A red carpet is rolled out for some.
Whilst others trod under the floorboards
Away from the lights and the sun…’
Each artist created works based on their experiences, providing an insight into the connection UnitingCare has with so many different parts of the community, and an understanding of the services it provides and the individuals and groups it assists.
Cliff Barclay, Executive Director of UnitingCare Ballarat said “We all see the world through different eyes and this project is a unique opportunity to have our services framed through the eyes of an artist”.
The project culminated in a gala event with an art auction and performance of the works in November 2013 and the proceeds provided funding for the agency’s programs.
Interview on ABC radio;