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A showcase of Mid North Coast Artists on now at The Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie

✦ A biennial exhibition open to all artists on the Mid North Coast, the Northern Exposure 7 exhibition is by application only. One artist encouraged to submit a work is Wauchope Creative Hubstar Stu Doherty.

Stu was encouraged to submit an artwork for selection by the curator of the exhibition, Brigette Purtill after he was awarded the Bonny Hills Art prize, something he is extremely proud of. The Northern Exposure exhibition explores themes and subjects relevant to the artist’s current arts practice, so Stu’s is a watercolour and laser cut on Arches cotton paper, named “The Collector II”.

The final selections were made by a panel of key arts professionals from across the Mid North Coast. Stu’s piece was one of those chosen and will be on exhibition until Sunday, 26 June.

The Glasshouse Regional Gallery has a strong commitment to developing the creative industries within our region

Northern Exposure 7 continues this commitment by providing accessible opportunities for regional artists to exhibit and enhance their artistic practice and careers. From Coffs Harbour to Taree emerging artists, not those established artists in the community that most would recognise, are encouraged to exhibit.

Stu is a relatively new artist, only pursuing his artistic career due to COVID around 2 years ago. he lived in the rat race in Sydney, had a job as he needed to make a living like most of us, then he made the big switch, moved back to family in the Hastings Valley and became an artist, eventually settling down in Long Flat and forming the artist collective at Wauchope Creative Hub and finally enjoying his art.

Stu told us, “ I entered the Bonny Hills Art Prize about 6 months ago now, won it and was encouraged by Bridgette, the curator of Northern Exposure 7 to put in a submission. I did and was selected to exhibit an artwork.”

Prior to this he said “ I hadn't really considered it to be honest. I'd vaguely heard about it, because it only happens once every two years, I had arrived in the area during the year that it hadn't been on. I hadn't lived through one of the exhibitions, so I didn't really know much about it. So I applied and got in, which was great.”

A pretty big deal for Stu, Northern Exposure is for large scale work. “ I'd only recently started doing large scale works. There's a couple in the gallery at Wauchope Creative Hub, but I hadn’t done many. “

“The Collector II”

Not your traditional watercolour, “The Collector II” is modern and graphic. Inspired by the local area in which he lives, the subject is eucalyptus leaves collected ( hence the name) on his walks through the village of Long Flat.

Stu told us, “ I like finding objects, leaves and then turning them into a graphic. I've been working on a series called The Collector, which involves me collecting things. A lot of my botanical paintings are things that I've collected on walks or when I take my dog Ziggy out for a run.”

The Collector II
The Collector II

Definitely inspired by nature, the painting is a graphic arrangement in rows of leaves with heightened colour. One of the beautiful things about the medium watercolour is that it's transparent. The white paper used lets the light as it hits it bounce back at you making colours really vibrant.

A designer in his earlier life, Stu’s artistic style is graphic and strict in a way. He said, “ Colour graduates from one row to another. The process took about three weeks for a big painting like “The Collector II”. There's lots of layers to it.”

The technique

What is meant by layers? It’s a technique watercolour uses. A transparent water based paint is painted onto paper, and you build up textures and layers by painting on top. Once it's dry, you paint another layer, and then you can paint another layer. That’s how you end up with lots of different textures and shapes.

“The Collector II”, as part of the artwork, has a laser cut leaf in the top left corner, which has been laser cut out of the same paper that the artwork is, so there's a ghost leaf in the top.

Stu has a story behind the painting, he says it is connected to the paper because of the material and the subject.

An interesting cycle, the paper the painting is presented on comes from trees, and the subject leaves come from trees. He elaborates, “ It’s kind of a metaphor, the paper is made of the tree which made the leaf which made the painting. Which came first? The leaf, tree or the paper. The chicken or the egg!”

As the saying goes, “Art is in the eye of the beholder”

It is a matter of personal opinion. And your opinion counts at the Northern Exposure 7 exhibition. Like art and any sort of art gallery, the exhibition is a mix of different things. There's oil paintings, acrylics, watercolours, sculpture, abstract, sculpture and photography spread out across both levels of the gallery, Stu’s piece is on the ground floor.

Only one prize will be awarded, Peoples Choice, it’s not a competition as such but an exhibition. all artworks are for sale. Stu has his fingers crossed that “The Collector II” has a red dot indicating sold on it.

Either way he rounded off by saying, “ It is an honour to be involved. Especially for somebody that's only been painting for a couple of years. My plan is to further my art career and enter more exhibitions,

Gallery Opening Hours at the Glasshouse Port Macquarie

Monday - CLOSED

Tuesday to Friday: 10:00am - 4:00pm

Saturday and Sunday: 10:00am - 2:00pm

Public Holidays: 10:00am - 2:00pm


Wauchope Creative Hub

87 Cameron Street, Wauchope, NSW 2446


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