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Art Exhibition Dazzles And Delights

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A detail from Shannus O'Sullivan's painting Red Ridge 1 ... his exhibition at the Wondai Regional Gallery is his 41st one-man show

February 9, 2018

Concerns about becoming bogged in his own driveway prevented a multi award-winning artist from attending the opening of his first exhibition in almost two years.

Shannus O’Sullivan, who lives in Hivesville, was unable to attend the Wondai Regional Art Gallery’s February exhibition opening last Friday due to the wet weather.

But his stunning glaze paintings of desolate outback landscapes and frolicking beach-goers in the main gallery were the centre of attention for the 50 people who braved the weather.

Shannus’ “Twists and Turns” is an exhibition of his most recent works, intermingled with a few older works that have been seen at local galleries in the past few years.

His last one-man exhibition – his 40th – was at the Kingaroy Art Gallery in May 2016.

Since then, he has had a few works appear in mixed exhibitions at both the Kingaroy and Wondai galleries.

Last October, his painting “Crossroads” won the $3000 first prize in the South Burnett Art Competition.

It was added to the South Burnett Regional Council’s permanent collection, the second of his works they’ve acquired in the past 10 years.

The win appears to have galvanised the artist, who has taken up his brush again to produce the distinctive, luminous paintings that have become his trademark.

Shannus uses a very time-consuming layering process to create his colourful artworks that involves applying multiple layers of colours, glazes and varnish.

The work is so time-consuming that even a simple painting can take three to four weeks to create but the final effect is breathtaking.

Shannus formerly lived in the Hunter Valley and he and his wife Evelyn moved to the South Burnett in 2004.

He has studied under some of Australia’s leading artists, including John Olsen and Rodney Milgate, and his drawing style has often been compared to Sir Russell Drysdale.

On Friday night, Shannus’ work, “The Hole In The Clover Patch”, won the People’s Choice Award.

This month, in addition to main exhibition, the gallery has two others as well.

In the front gallery, members of the Tangled Threads textile art group have a display of themed textile wall hangings.

And in the rear gallery, South Burnett Volunteer Of The Year Rhonda Trivett and her friend Rhondda Jones are displaying “Escape From The Past”, a mixed collection of their own works.

Students from Tingoora State School have also gone all out in Kidz Korner this month to create an amusing jungle scene.

  • “Twists and Turns”, “Combination” and “Escape From The Past” will remain on display at the Wondai Regional Art Gallery from 10:00am to 4:00pm daily until Saturday, March 24. Admission to view them is free.

Cr Ros Heit, who declared the exhibition open, said she was very fond of "The Hole In The Clover Patch", which took out the People's Choice Award; the painting is a protest against mining

Marion Lees, from the Tangled Threads textile art group, with her spectacular wall hanging Botanical Imprint which was made with two applique techniques, then machine quilted

Jo Berry, from Kingsley Grove Winery, told the opening night audience she'd only recently discovered she is related to Shannus O'Sullivan but has yet to meet him in person; however, she's already a fan of his work

South Burnett Volunteer Of The Year Rhonda Trivett and her friend Rhondda Jones have a small exhibition of their works on show in the rear gallery

Murgon picture framer Neil Smith has been framing Shannus O'Sullivan's paintings since 2004 and attended the opening with his wife Liza and friends Alona and Bruce Robertson

Students from Tingoora State School have created an amusing, immersive jungle scene in Kidz Korner this month

Two stockmen ride out through a bleak and unforgiving landscape in this detail from one of Shannus O'Sulivan's quintessentially Australian works


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