A SPLASH of creativity is resurfacing in the New England Deepwater district, with a team of locals gearing up to deliver the town’s beloved art show again in autumn 2023.
Last held in 2014, the event is a significant fundraiser for the region. From March 31 to April 4, 2023, it will feature guest artists and work by local creatives and artisans against a backdrop of music, workshops and food at Deepwater’s School of Arts.
Convenor Catie Macansh said she has been delighted by the enthusiastic response to the revival of this community event.
“It’s great to have the generous support of sponsors, led by Highlands Real Estate Glen Innes, which is backing our major art award.
“We encourage artists from across the region to prepare their very best work and enter it for our three-day, curated exhibition, with $4500 of judged prizes in the mix.”
Artist Jane Henry returned to live and work on a cattle and cropping property in the Dumaresq Valley, and will be one of several featured artists at the event.
“It is wonderful to have the opportunity to share some creativity and stimulus with a small rural community like Deepwater, as they are always extremely welcoming and appreciative,” she said.
“The opportunity to socialise, meet new people and enjoy new experiences is embraced wholeheartedly and I love to support this interaction by displaying my creative impressions.”
Henry will be exhibiting a collection of intricate artworks combining her love of Australian flora and paying homage to her mother and grandmothers, who passed down the skill and appreciation of slow needlework.
“I am constantly extending the capabilities of stitching on paper with natural fibres, dyes and natural objects I collect,” she said.
“These are extremely intricate and time consuming pieces which showcase and preserve various natural forms.”
Lauren Rogers is a proud Ngarabal woman whose mob comes from the Deepwater region and has strong ancestral ties there. She is “blessed and humbled” to be invited to exhibit her contemporary Indigenous art at the Deepwater Art Show.
“I am thrilled to return to my traditional homelands to connect with my Country, the land, and my ancestors,” she said.
“Sharing my artwork with the Deepwater community and celebrating First Nations’ history and culture will be a memorable experience.”
Rogers will bring pieces from her Coming Home collection, sharing important stories of her Ngarabal Country lineage to honour what she calls the “stunning geographical location” of Deepwater.
“My preferred medium is acrylic on canvas, using vibrant colours to contrast and expose the deferring dimensions in the painting,” she said.
Ochre Lawson (pictured in main image) grew up on properties near Wollomombi and Glen Innes.
“This time spent in native bush gave me a great love and appreciation for our wildness areas and how important they are for their beauty and health and wellbeing of the land,” she said.
“All my work is based on trips into wilderness country throughout Australia, where I gather source material through en plein air sketching, hiking deep into remote areas such as the Tasmanian high country, Kosciuszko and Washpool National Park.”
Lawson says participating in the Deepwater Art Show and being able to support the Arts in regional NSW is very special.
“As the Deepwater show is a fundraiser for different local charities, I’m very happy to participate knowing how important these organisations are for rural communities.
“I feel very lucky to have grown up in rural Australia and feel that connection between city and country is more important than ever if we are to band together to battle climate change.”
A selection of Lawson’s semi-abstract paintings from her Kosciuszko, outback New South Wales, and Tasmanian series will be exhibited at the Deepwater School of Arts.
Toowoomba-based artist Monique Correy grew up in Glen Innes and feels lucky to maintain strong connections with rural NSW.
“My parents aren’t farmers but we had all sorts of animals growing up and this has definitely had an impact on the things I paint,” she said.
“I love the Glen Innes and surrounding community – they have been so supportive of me and It means a lot that I can give back in some way by being a part of this show.”
Known for her distinct painterly brushstrokes and stripped-back style, Correy describes her paintings as “an organised mess”.
After her first exhibition sold out on opening night, she is bringing some beloved favourites to Deepwater Art Show.
“Everyone loves ducks, and maybe a cowboy or two!” she said.
The final featured artist of the event, Clare Purser enjoys painting and drawing en plein air around her home on Brisbane’s Bayside.
“I’m interested in creating paintings that are evocative and intuitive and express an emotive reaction to the landscape,” she said.
Working mainly in oils and with mixed media on canvas, board and paper, Purser gathers inspiration for her vibrant land- and seascapes from notes and sketches.
She was recently as a finalist in the Sunshine Coast, Redlands and Moreton Bay region art awards.
A great line of live performers, workshop facilitators, sponsors and special guests are gearing up for the program of events planned by the Deepwater Art Show committee.
Editor of Galah magazine, Annabelle Hickson, will open the show on Friday March 30. Guests will also experience performances by soprano Laura King and other musicians.
This unique opening night shindig will kick off a long weekend of high teas, artisan markets, and a workshop series, all delivered by New England-based creatives, including Carolyn McCosker, Joanne Barr, Adele Chapman-Burgess and Richard Moon.
For more information, tickets and entries, head to the Deepwater Art Show website