The 'Up North' online art exhibition is the result of an investigation in 2019, by fifteen artists from Far North Queensland, into what represents the 'essence' of the northern part of Australia for them.
In general, areas north of the Tropic of Capricorn are thought of being 'up north', as opposed to the more southern regions, known as 'down south' - of course!
Many differences between these areas is evident in the landscape, the weather, types of flora, fauna and also lifestyle, which is usually more casual than in large cities or country towns. Adventures abound in what is, at times, a wild frontier, at others sophisticated luxury.
Click on each image to see it enlarged. All work is for sale; to purchase please contact a specific artist via the form at the bottom of this page.
some yellow candles (Pachystachys Lutea) and Coral Fountain (Russelia
Equisetiformis) outside our kitchen window.
To my delight, almost every
morning, I am greeted with the chirpy chirrup of a pair of my favourite birds,
the Sunbird. They love feeding on the the nectar of the Yellow Candles. I’ve
tried to capture my love of these little birds.
beautiful waterlilies growing in our water garden. Pretty difficult not to be
inspired by these heavenly flowers. The scent from their yellow centre is truly
pure and intoxicating. I’d love to be able to bottle that perfume.
On returning to Port Douglas after several years, I found the same inspired magic and intrigue that I had first been drawn to.
The beauty of light playing on water, the incredible mountainous drama, skies full of promises and steamy moodiness...the shapes, colour, fibres and texture of tropical living are all inspiration, as is the cool gentleness of the perfumed evening breeze, so nurturing to the spirit. Very happy to return to this exquisite area.
These bowls are made from discarded man-made washed up rope that I have collected from beaches.
Most of this rope is a by-product of
commercial and recreational fishing. It is lethal in the sea as it traps
marine creatures and is also ingested when mistaken as food by them,
often leading to death by starvation. Furthermore, it breaks down into
microplastics that are ubiquitous in the food chain. I have alove/hate
relationship with this medium. It is fascinating to use as it is
weathered, bleached and beaten by the elements, so it presents an array
of opportunities and challenges. However, I would rather that it did not
exist at all! My work is one way of drawing attention to the paradox of
modern life with plastic.
Originals (shown):A and C - watercolour on archival paper, B - acrylic on canvas. All paintings are framed
Prints: A and C - cotton rag print 40x30cm unframed $79, framed $310, B - cotton rag print 41x31cms unframed $99, framed $350
I have a studio in Cape Tribulation and often paint 'in the field' in
the Daintree National Park. At the end of my road there is a boardwalk
that takes you through an ancient mangrove forest. These trees join the
earth, water and landscape together. I love the shapes of these trees
and capturing the light as it dances in the swampy setting.
Each pod is a hand-built organic shaped form onto which a
black underglaze has been applied whilst the piece is still leather hard. I
then “sgraffito” or carve through the underglaze to expose the raw clay beneath. It is then fired to 1200 degrees in an electric kiln, with a glaze applied to the
internal surface only.
The word “font” in the title refers to the graphic symbols I
use on the pods as a cypher for the Daintree Rainforest I live next to. The white
sgraffito marks are clearly defined against the matt black background of the
pods – in reference to the contrasts of the forest (eg shafts of bright light
penetrating the forest canopy. Pockets of remnant rainforest in an otherwise
cleared landscape etc)
Dry River Bed: I was amazed by the shapes carved by the current in this river bed during the Wet season.
They reminded me of the organic quality of Henry Moore's sculptures but lots more intricate ...and miles of it!
Tidal: The tides make amazing shapes too along the beach: mini-estuaries at every tidal movement. There, rapids, waterfalls and lakes as far as they eye can see, with the sea glistening in the distance.
60,000 Years of Pattern: Patterns in the same river as depicted in 'Dry River Bed' but this time I made them more stylised, an acknowledgement of the indigenous people who would have lived along his river and how they made their intense connections with the environment visible in expressive patterns.
Watercolour pencil on 320gsm handmade paper. Unframed. 21cm wide x 15cm high
Available as giclee print A5 size only $35
When walking I am often wonder-struck by the intricate elements and beauty of botanical relationships; the elegance of tiny angles, the understated colours and the innate knowing and transience of links in the ecological chain. I found these fallen paperbark sticks, along with their epiphytic passengers, during this year's extended wet season.
'Yellow Catamaran': The Inlet at Port Douglas is a safe haven for a myriad of craft.
This little yellow catamaran caught my eye as it rode gently at anchor, framed by the gnarled and twisted branches of an ancient plumeria. It was obviously a 'live-aboard' - and what a setting to wake up to in the morning as the sun washed in from the east. What began as an urban sketch became a painting of a moment in the life of Port Douglas' s famous inlet.
'Gorgeous Gorge': Mossman Gorge is one of the most pristine and beautiful rainforest settings. The glassy green waters of the Mossman River, which carved the gorge, tumble over massive time-worn boulders. Jungle perch feed in the shallows. It is an ancient and magical place that calls out to be painted - especially in the magical medium of transparent watercolour. What began as a small sketch morphed into a larger painting.
Triptych, 'Latitude 17South' - $950 or priced separately as shown.
Acrylic and watercolour pencil on Arches watercolour paper
I have lived and travelled across the 'Top End' of Australia, from Broome and the Kimberleys in Western Australia, through the vast central lands bordering the Victoria River to the inland and coastal regions of North Queensland, where I now live at Port Douglas.
Something which I tried to capture in these paintings is the sense of vast space and never-ending horizons where land and sea meet star studded skies. There's always the exception which proves the rule though, so the frustration of being unable to see beyond encircling mountains of the Great Dividing Range in FNQ remains.
On the Edge - 125cmx94cm Conte crayon/collage on fibre board - $850
My artwork depicts the tangled nature of mangroves in the wet tropics of Far North Queensland; their inpenetrable mass and buttress like forms, unlike other root structures, which support, nurture and sustain life, anchor coastal mud and tidal areas and provide a filter between land andsea. I am inspired by the beauty of this dark, dense, at times foreboding, fragile landscape that has fallen prey to the dreams and aspirations of development. My artwork juxtaposes beauty and complexity with the darkness of the mangroves themselves and the darkness that comes with their destruction.
Life Studies 1 and 2 depict the dynamic nature of the human body as it moves through various quick poses. The lines and shadows depict this fluidity.