An Arts Connect Inc exhibition at Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, Mountain View Road, Maleny from 6-23 November, 2020. The exhibition is open from 9.30 to 3.30 daily.


Michael Augustine, Megan Bice, Jo Bingham, Sine Black, Jan Braithwaite, Roger Callen, Deanne Cumner, Catherine Day, Libby Derham, Jennifer Eurell, Trevor Irvine, Peta Jervois, Jacky Lowry, Annie McIntosh, Cheryl McMahon, Judi Parkinson, Issy Parson, Beatrice Prost, Judith Rosenberg, Laura Vecmane, Carol Weir.

It was quite a coincidence to be in two exhibitions one after the other and both in the same venue. Not that one would complain about exhibiting at the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve twice. The last exhibition was with the Maleny Printmakers and it was all unframed works, whereas Botanica was run by Arts Connect Inc. and framed works predominated along with some wonderful little sculptural pieces. Many thanks to Annie McIntosh for her organisation.

I had one work on exhibition and that only got finished and framed in time! It all takes time – especially the handsewing. I looked at my ideas for the leaves and thought – yes, about a quarter of an hour each should do it. Well, it didn’t! Despite this, I did enjoy doing the handstitching possibly because all my decisions had been made before I started sewing.

I wanted to capture something of the feel of the rainforest and I hope my embroidered photograph, Portal to another world, does this.

Portal to a different world, 2020

When entering the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve it is like wandering into another world. The temperature cools, and you are enveloped in a world of green leaves and buttressed trees. The senses are aware of the bird calls from the canopy and the rustle of a pademelon on the ground. There is also a certain wariness of snakes or leeches. My work tries to emulate the feeling of ‘difference’ discerned in this environment by using a disconcerting double perspective in the photograph, and the close proximity of the plane of hand stitched leaves in the foreground. 

I must say that I did enjoy my two days on duty – the first one with Trevor Irvine and the second with Catherine Day. Trevor had some wonderful carved seed pods on exhibition and Catherine made the ‘treek trunk’ sculpture that features in my first photo of the exhibition. So, it was also a good opportunity to get to know the other artists a bit better, especially in these times where ‘openings’ are generally not happening. We were allowed to exhibit some small works of our own while on duty which gave visitors the opportunity to purchase something small to take with them. I was happy to sell three of my prints and a card. I was also happy when my sister-in-law arrived with two carloads of very chatty ladies who were curious about the many techniques used to make the works.

Like all exhibitions at the moment, numbers are limited, hand sanitiser takes pride of place and all visitors details must be recorded. Just little reminders that most of the world is in chaos and we are lucky to be feeling at least relatively safe in our beautiful environment on the Sunshine Coast.

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