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Africa Inspires New Exhibition

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Samford artist Shan Woods’ encaustic works reflect her experience of Namibia, one of the driest countries in Africa … Shan spent a month at the country’s national gallery as an artist-in-residence

August 13, 2019

A one-month residency at Namibia’s national art gallery was a dream come true for artist Shan Wood.

She only took up art after retiring from a long teaching career and stumbled on the opportunity of the residency by accident.

Shan said she had a life-long fascination with out-of-the-way destinations and only turned up the Namibia opportunity one night while randomly surfing the internet.

“I’m over 60 and really didn’t think I’d stand a chance,” Shan said.

“But I filled in the application. And when I found I’d been accepted a short time later I almost fell off my chair.”

Shan, who specialises in encaustic painting, said the residency involved a roughly equal mix of painting in public at the national gallery in Namibia’s capital Windhoek and teaching disadvantaged children.

In between, she took trips around to learn more about the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa.

The results of her visit form the core of her exhibition “Sense Of Place: My Response To The Namibian Landscape” which is on show this month at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery.

Shan’s technique involves applying and then “fusing” coloured wax to boards, then applying different media to the surface of the wax to form an image.

Once this is done, she textures the wax and cuts it back to incise or reveal previous layers, then polishes the finished work.

The results are among some of the most unusual artworks seen at the gallery for a long time.

Local residents who would like to learn her methods will be able to take part in a two-day workshop on August 31 and September 1 where they will be able to get “hands-on” with encaustic techniques and produce six 20cm x 20cm works.

The workshop costs $260 and is limited to 10 participants. Bookings can be made by phoning the Gallery on (07) 4189-9323.

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This month the Gallery is also hosting “Your Way And Mine”, a mixed exhibition by the Cupcakes and Canvases art group which features everything from pottery to painting.

Artists Lois Vreeken, Sue Flintham, Roslyn Smith and Lois Hamilton have put together an exhibition that is eccentric and inspiring by turns.

Sue Flintham’s pottery pieces – which include an intricately constructed model Queenslander – are simultaneously whimsical and mesmerising; and other member’s oils and watercolours cover the spectrum of themes, styles and techniques.

Cupcakes and Canvases members have also contributed pieces to a silent auction which is running all this month to assist local resident Josie Potter’s fundraising efforts.

Josie has multiple sclerosis but has been tackling the Brissie to the Bay bike ride since 2011 to raise funds for MS Queensland.

She will be taking part again next year which she believes will be her last big cycling effort.

The Cupcakes and Canvasesartists will donate the auction’s proceeds to Josie’s 2020 fundraising drive.

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  • “Sense Of Place” and “Your Way and Mine” will remain on display at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery in Haly Street from 10:00am to 4:00pm Mondays to Fridays, and 9:00am to 1:00pm on weekends, until Thursday, August 29. Admission to view both exhibitions is free.

Sue Flintham’s quirky pottery Queenslander is one of several fascinating pieces she has on display at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery this month

Josie Potter and artist Lois Vreeken with some of the artworks on offer in a silent auction running at the Gallery this month … the proceeds will go to MS Queensland

Kingaroy’s Mary Robinson and Rhonda Sempf enjoyed the exhibition on its opening night, which attracted a very large crowd


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