Blue Sky Talkin’

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Saturday was an emotional day. As we celebrated the final weekend of WBHDII, we hosted a very special event with the Bundaberg Writers Club called Blue Sky Talkin’. The writers had visited the exhibition previously then gone away and pondered the art they had encountered. They generously shared their thoughts and words with us. And wow! I was really touched that the exhibition had been a catalyst for so many responses. Poetry, prose, memories, song, the beginnings of a novel (yes 30,000 words have already been written!) have all sprung forth.

A big thanks to Di Esmond of the BWC for organising. Di and I will be sharing the written responses through this blog soon, as I know all the artists will enjoy reading how their artwork inspired these creative minds! So stay tuned I will post them soon.


In the meantime I wanted to share one of the highlights of the day which was a song written and performed by Brett. Though he hadn’t written a song in years, he was so inspired by Christine Turner’s Big Sky Dreaming that he wrote and performed his own Big Sky Dreaming.

The day was really moving for me as it made me realise that the ripple effect of WBHD has been bigger and more varied than I had anticipated. Thanks to everyone who has participated and supported – it has been a pleasure to get to know you all, and watch you all generously share your creativity with each other and our communities.

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Opening celebration

I wanted to take a small moment to thank everyone for their time, creativity and energy. Saturday was a lovely moment to just enjoy the fab people this project has brought together over the past 4 years.

A big thankyou to Jenny and Catherine for being the catalysts – creating a meaningful exchange from meeting each other back in 2010. Thank you!

And thanks to all of you who have opened your studios and lives to us via the blog! Here are some snaps from the opening.

Left to right: Sue, Sabrina Lauriston, Trevor, Christine, Marlies, Ariella - engrossed in video linking!

Left to right: Sue, Sabrina Lauriston, Trevor, Christine, Marlies, Ariella – engrossed in video linking!

Christine, Jan Sullivan (one of the writers involved in the upcoming Blue Sky Talkin event), Sue.

Christine, Jan Sullivan (one of the writers involved in the upcoming Blue Sky Talkin event), Sue.

Trevor, Julie Appo (artist), Mark Peacey (Jenny's husband)

Trevor, Julie Appo (artist), Mark Peacey (Jenny’s husband)

A happy crowd

A happy crowd

Marlies and her work

Marlies and her work

Trevor and his work

Trevor and his work

Our lovely performer for the opening, Al Davies.

Our lovely performer for the opening, Al Davies.

Wide Bay – High Desert II

Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery and Unsettled Gallery are very pleased to announce that Wide Bay – High Desert is back and with a new exhibition planned to open in late August. This second instalment of an exchange of ideas, artworks and artists has been a  wonderful conversation to follow via this blog site. So we are all looking forward to hearing from all the artists as they prepare, create and share in 2015.

We are very pleased to announce some new artists to the exhibition this year and we would like to welcome to the project: Jacklyn St Auburn, Jean Wilkey, Alexander Eulert, Virginia Maria Romero, Jo Rango, Marlies Oakley and Ariella Anderson to the project.

We also hope to continue to hear form our past exhibitors Carey, Dave and Peggy. And a warm welcome back to Adrienne, Sue, Chris and Trevor.

Well I think I will keep this blog short,  as unfortunately we are facing a day of uncertainty here in Queensland with a cyclone bearing down on our region, so stay safe everyone in the Wide Bay.



Wide Bay – High Desert II

We are very excited to announce that Wide Bay High Desert will be happening again in 2015! Jenny, Catherine and I are all really excited to be continuing this project again and planning another dual exhibition. There will of course be some changes, as we take on board what we learnt in 2013, and build on the experience and opportunity.

One of the first changes will be the exhibition will be held at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery (BRAG) instead of Childers Arts Space. This will introduce a new audience to the project. The exhibition will be held at BRAG from the 25 August to the 25 October 2015, and for the months of September and October at Unsettled gallery.

We are still in a planning phase in regards to artists participation, as we look to what will add value to the exhibition, but we will keep you all posted in regards this.

What we would love you all to start thinking about is suggestions for a theme, and we thought the blog could be a good formum for this discussion. As you will be aware last year we asked all the artists to create works based on the unique culture and landscape of where they are from. 12 months on, and having got to know each other and your art practices better, we are interested to hear what you would be interested in responding to and working towards. What would be a good visual conversation to bring together two different communities?

Lots of planning ahead of us, but we are so delighted to be able to do this exhibition and project again.




A message from Peggy

Dinner with Peggy

Peggy has asked me to post the following on herbehalf, enjoy….

Hello to everyone in Bundaberg…you too Dave. You certainly are one lucky dingo! What a great place to do an artist in residency!! There are great people, nice digs, huge studio space and all kinds of beautiful places to experience and use in your works. I am truly jealous.

Joel and I had a lovely time in Bundaberg and a lot of fun meeting Trudie and two of the participating artists, Christine and Adrienne. Jenny was not feeling well and she missed out on the fun. I was delighted at how open and friendly everyone was, but then I’ve never met an Aussie I didn’t like. We felt right at home. Good conversation, good wine, great food it all creates good friends. I hope we can stay in touch for a long time. I also hope I can go back at some point and meet Susan and Trevor and see Jenny.

Trudie was kind enough to take the two of us to visit the ChArts Gallery before we had to rush to catch the train. The gallery is a dynamic space, very open with lots of light and an interesting view of the beautiful old business district off the balcony. This gallery is more than a gallery it also houses a memorial to 15 people who died in a fire when the building was a backpackers hostel. There is a beautiful memorial wall that tells the individual stories. The artist who created the glass wall worked with the families of the backpackers to find the images that showed where they were from and what they enjoyed in life. The way the photos illustrated each personality reminds me so much of the way we celebrate Dia de los Muretos in New Mexico. Our little alters show the same things about the person that is being remembered and celebrated. I found this a very moving experience.

This trip to Australia was for business (for Joel) and pleasure (for me).  We landed in Brisbane and spent three days with friends. Joel had meetings during the day with individuals in the CSIRO offices. On Thursday we left our gear at our friends place and took the train to Bundaberg. We spent that night in the apartment at BRAG and then returned to Brisbane via the train on Friday. We spent Friday evening and Saturday celebrating with our friends and their neighbors (you guys know how to make a person feel welcome). Sunday we flew to Sydney and Joel had to start working right away. He gave a few papers and I went to the museums.

There is a very good exhibit at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, titled “Sydney Moderns ART FOR A NEW WORLD” that runs through Oct. 7.  I love the artists work and learned a lot about post-war Sydney and the thought behind the artworks. The color/music theory of Roy de Maistre is something I will have to do more research on.

I also saw the other touring exhibit the Gallery of NSW had “Renaissance to Goya”.  This exhibit was drawings and prints from the collection of the BritishMuseum. Fabulous figure drawings!

I also got to the Museum of Contemporary Art and saw a beautiful exhibition by Graig Walsh where he interviewed Murujuga Aboriginal elders then projected the image of them talking during the interview onto a picture of a feature in the landscape that was very meaningful to that individual. The double image fused the weathered faces into the rugged landscape and they became one. There were several good exhibits the other favorite was “String Theory: Focus on Contemporary Australian Art”. I loved the woven figures in this show.

There was a nice show of Ansel Adams photos “Photography from the Mountains to the Sea” at the NationalMaritimeMuseum. Even the convention center at DarlingHarbour had a nice selection of artworks.

Joel and I did manage to spend some time together and had the chance to catch up with old friends over dinner a couple of nights. One evening we took the tour of the Opera House and then went to the performance of the musical “South Pacific”. I can’t imagine a better place to catch that show.

Well, I have not been much of a writer on the blog up to now and not much of this is about my work but I thought you might find my time in Australia interesting. I did not find a paper shop but did manage to pick up some nice Yuzen Washi paper at the museum. They are colorful printed papers from Japan. I could only find the small sheets but they will work in nicely to my work. I will try to send some images as I use these papers.

I am excited to see the pieces up along side each other in the galleries.




Peggy & Joel Brown Charts 1

We were delighted last week to have a visit from Peggy Brown and her husband Joel. In their very brief trip to Australia, they found an opportunity to come to Bundaberg to visit. Apart form a lovely dinner, we also found the time to zip them out to Childers so they could see where the exhibition will be held.

And as we speak Dave Sorensen is settling in to our Artist In Residence apartment at BRAG. Still cant believe we have managed to see two out of four of the Las Crucians over here! Nolan and Carey your turn next!

Dates for your diaries

Hi all,

Its not long now till our High Desert artist Dave Sorenson arrives in Bundaberg to undertake a residency with us at BRAG. We are hosting two social get togethers for artists in our region to meet Dave and hear about the Las Cruces art scene. So pencils out people… we really hope you can join us for one or both of these events:

– Artist Dinner,  Friday the 27th of September, 6pm, Access Studio, Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery.

– Artist Lunch, Tuesday the 1st of October, 12 noon, Childers Arts Space, Balcony.

These will be informal occasions, to share a meal and welcome Dave. Please BYO drinks,  and a plate to share. All welcome but  please RSVP to if you would like to attend either of these events.

Thanks everyone, I will be in touch with other details of Dave’s visit and the lead up to the exhibition opening of Wide Bay – High Desert.