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Perspectives, Issue #001 -- the "low-down" on Low Isles Exhibition
January 15, 2008

"Perspectives" - your tropical art ezine.

Thank you for subscribing to my e-newsletter "Perspectives", your tropical art ezine.

This is the first issue, which starts with a question.

What would you like to see in this ezine? Would you like information about various visual art happenings in Far North Queensland? Would you like me to include performance and writing news?

Are you more interested in, say, articles about various art techniques?

Or would you like to hear about the day-to-day atmosphere in this often dramatic, but always beautiful, area that sets the scene for artistic endeavour?

I would appreciate it if you could give a quick reply to this email to tell me your preferences - just use your email's "reply" button.

The "low-down" on the Low Isles exhibition!

For this first edition I thought that you may like to hear about the LOW ISLES EXHIBITION, held recently at the historic sugar wharf in Port Douglas.

Artists are preparing now to tour selections of this exhibition to Cairns Regional Gallery (February 2 - March 9, 2008).

It started like this ...

Late in 2006 a group of artists, mostly Arthouse members, who are also Low Isles volunteers, had gone to the island to further their training and also to observe the spectacular phenomenon of coral spawning.

Whilst there they decided to spawn some ideas of their own, culminating in the exhibition "Low Isles, a fragile sanctuary".

Imagine the scene. It is dark; a full moon is about to rise.

I wrote at the time -

"Excitement is in the air and a sulphurous smell wafts from the warm ocean as coral polyps begin to release their eggs and sperm simultaneously across a large area of the Great Barrier Reef.

At Low Isles an orgy of procreation begins. It is night-time, the water emits a strange, greenish light and trails of bio-luminescence sparkle as we trail our hands across its surface.

An exploratory torch-beam over the side of the dinghy reveals turbulent activity as worms writhe and polyps begin to pop out their eggs in an orchestrated dance of creation..."

Not all artists chose to use the spawning as their subject matter.

There was considerable interest in the history of the island - from the creation stories of the aboriginal people of the area, to European scientists and then the lighthouse keepers who followed.

Here are some of the resultant artworks.

Oh, and yes, in case you were wondering, the exhibition at the Sugar Wharf in Port Douglas was a resounding success!

Around three hundred people watched the sun set behind towering cloud formations, seen against the backdrop of the brooding mountains. As they enjoyed refreshments on the wide old deck, a full moon beamed down, completing the magic.

Jack Heywood painted his impressions on a huge canvas as he told his story of Low Isles, Judy Shuan from the Kuku Yalangi tribe performed a "smoking" welcome with melaleuca bark and Cairns ABC radio personality, Pat Morrish, opened the evening with kind and perceptive remarks.

For the Cairns Regional Gallery exhibition, writer, actor, producer and more recently, "climate change ambassador", Nell Schofield, has kindly agreed to visit from Sydney to "do the honours".

We hope that you will be able to visit the exhibition in person; if not, you may do it from your office chair now!

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