The Here+now exhibition at Childers Arts Space showcases many of the diverse art practices and techniques found in the vibrant Bundaberg Region.
Encompassing painting, drawing, photography, pottery, wood-turning, glass and jewellery, this exhibition explores the relationship between the makers and the cultural landscape of our region.
Living remotely inspires art
Artist Nicole Jakins has a passion for nature, especially Australian, and creates sculptures made from repurposed and salvaged items.
Living remotely, and completely off the grid for the past five years, Nicole said she was inspired by her surroundings when it came to creating art.
“I enjoy working with cooper and often salvage or find remnant pieces, which all flows into my way of living,” she said.
“Copper is beautiful to work with – it starts ridged, then it becomes soft, before going hard again.”
Nicole's art piece, In Search of the Goddess, 2018, is made from copper, paper clay, mussel shells, leather, waxed linen thread and natural pigments of charcoal and eucalyptus tree sap. It depicts an echidna.
“My ideas are always shifting based on my environment,” she said.
Nicole said her artwork was “necessity based”, and she only used what was on hand, rather than purchase materials.
The 43-year-old artist moved from Cooktown and lives in Doughboy just outside of Gin Gin with her husband Keith.
The property is only accessible by four-wheel drive and the pair use solar power and a back-up generator for necessities such as charging mobile phones.
“Living life remotely I think outside the square and about what I have on hand,” she said.
“Sustainable practices are important to me.
“The only thing I find is it can be very lonely living remotely, but I enjoy it.”
Influence of nature in the Bundaberg Region
“On my meandering trips to town or to Bundaberg I leave 10 to 15 minutes earlier and along the way I will find something to inspire me,” Nicole said.
“One occasion was the echidna – unfortunately a casualty.”
Nicole is also inspired by insects and other small animals such as lizards, she uses this inspiration when creating artwork.
“Living out here I am surrounded insects,” she said.
“I’m always grabbing them and I spend a few moments studying them, before releasing them.
“Better than grabbing for the (insect) spray.”
Nicole said art was open to personal interpretation and it took her a long time to become comfortable with her own work.
“When I am making art I don’t think it is different,” she said.
“It never really weighs on me what other people think.
“It takes a long time to be comfortable in your own skin and with what you are doing – and I am here now.”
The Here+now exhibition opens today (Thursday, 6) June and features other Bundaberg Region artist such as Des Allan (see artwork below).
The opening launch will be held at 1pm on Saturday, 8 June and the exhibition will continue until 28 July.
Childers Arts Space
CHARTS, 72 Churchill St, Childers, is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm and Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 9am to 3pm.
For more information phone 4130 4876.