Feathers of the Forest

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Yesterday I spent a few hours on duty at the Feathers of the Forest exhibition at the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve at Maleny. Along with 12 others from the Maleny Printmakers we had our work on exhibition in the theatrette. The reserve offers walks in the rainforest and the theatrette adjoins the viewing platform for the wonderful vista of the Glasshouse Mountains. There is also an interpretative centre, restaurant with views, and just outside the theatrette/gallery is a musical frog instrument. One hit with a little baton and the frog croaks – so the quiet of the gallery was interspersed with frog sounds while ever there were tourists around to do so.

Printmakers with work on display are Cholena Drew Hughes, Dianne Collier, Gerry Luhman, Jenni Matthews, myself, Jillian Bergman, Julie Hanrahan, Karen Shaw, Lois Collins, Neville Field, Nicky Carey and Sylvia Mekhitarian. We are a diverse group and depending on how you do the numbers, linoprints outweighed other processes. Cholena had a large multipiece cyanotype work – so if we count the individual pieces – cyanotype would win. Other processes are etching, drypoint, woodcut and polyester plate lithographs.

Here is a closer look at some of the prints:

My own work probably was a bit too much on the diverse side – but I tend to be like that – with a hand coloured linocut, a cyanotype and an etching. I chose the Regent Bowerbird, the Eastern Whipbird and the Rufous Fantail. Basically the Regent Bowerbird is just drop dead gorgeous – so who could resist. However, I certainly haven’t seen one, so my double mirror reverse linocut references me looking in all directions – albeit without success. I did, however, actually see two Eastern Whipbirds recently – my first spotting despite hearing thousands of whipbird calls in my lifetime. I am sure I only identified those birds because in doing this print I became familiar with their distinctive shape.

My etching refers to a pleasant encounter with a woman and her two children along the Mary Cairncross rainforest track. The children were scurrying around shouting ‘look, I can see a Rufous Fantail’ – they had sharper eyes than I, but I now know that the often seen little brown birds also scurrying around the forest floor and flicking their tail are Rufous Fantails.

The exhibition continues till Sunday 15th December, 2019. 10-4 weekends, 10-2 weekdays and 10-1 on the last day so please come and see all the work. It is a lovely exhibition, our visitors are enjoying it and the artists have all benefited from our exploration into the avian diversity of the Mary Cairncross rainforest.

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