Meet Our Fabulous Artists
Just like Maroo's animal guests, we have collected our artists from the Southern Forests - from Donnybrook in the North to the Ocean in the South - we have a wonderful mixture of artists working in a range of media: textile, mosaic, clay, paint, pencil - but all on or around glacial 'river stones' - Arn't they a talented bunch!
After the official launch on October 25th October we will add photos of the works as well. Huge thanks to the generosity of our artists but also Stuart and Marg Walls for allowing us to 'harvest' the stones from their amazing property and to my young guns - Irik Newman(12) , Oliver Maclean(16) and Lewis Maclean(13), Sophie Cornes (16) - without whom the 60 + 'stones' that were collected, so the artists could pick and choose between rocks, would have remained in that dam wall - Thanks Lads and Lass!
Our Artists Are : Sandy Hill, Oliver Maclean, Tarlz Leaf, Claire Connolly, Jann Barry, Robin Inkpen, Diana Brett, Ros Benson, Bronwyn Turnbull, Cindy Armanesco, Joni Marlow, Sophie Cornes, Carolyn Austin, Jo Burton,Jodie Quinn,Irene Stephens,Marguerite Aberle, Paul Strachan,Sue Williams, Georgia Redgrave,Dianne Huband,Nina (Jan) Retallack, Jan Gallop, Pauline Thomas,Jean Barrett, Brenda ......more coming as they complete their works!
Claire's Rock : " The Old Fossil"
Rock No: 1
I am a self taught mixed media artist based in Donnybrook on the banks of the Preston River. I seem to be unable to dedicate myself to one single art form so I regularly challenge myself by dabbling in anything and everything.
I was inspired to create ‘The Old Fossil’ when I handled my glacial stone for the first time and realised that whilst most of the rock had been smoothed by the elements one small section had been damaged. This rough, crumbly area showed the inside of this ancient stone and I started thinking about what could possibly ‘crawl’ out of this space. After imagining a variety of creatures I finally settled on a man.
So what sort of man lives in a 100,000 year old glacial stone? Well, a very, very old fossilised man of course. So has he emerged from his stone before? What wonderful stories have his old eyes seen and his wrinkly ears already heard? I tried to capture him peering up out of his small stony home debating whether or not to emerge and experience this new world. I decided to mosaic him with tiles as hard and unyielding as his stone. Thinking glacial I opted for shades of blue and green to reflect his ancient icy home.
I’m certain ‘The Old Fossil’ has a million wonderful stories to tell so listen carefully and maybe he’ll share one with you.
Rock No 3: Boranup - Breakaway Country
Sandra Hill is one of the most renowned artistes in Western Australia. Yet this quiet, thoughtful woman lives without much fanfare in the small town of Balingup.
Getting to know Sandy is easy – she is warm hearted, generous with her time and knowledge and has a wicked sense of humour. She is a proud Noongar woman, has 3 wonderful kids and has just moved to her new studio in the town. She has works held at the National Gallery of Australia, the National Archives of the Netherlands she shows nationally and internationally in Melbourne, New York and Singapore and even Nicole Kidman owns a ‘Sandy Hill’! On top of this she has won two prestigious State awards – including the Arts WA Creative Development Grant worth $60,000. Sandy is also the Noongar Community Cultural Development Officer for the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery. Her 'stone' immediately called out to her and reminded her of her Grandma's country down on the South coast near Bremer Bay
Cindy's Rock : 'Mizz Lizzy (yet to be discovered)'
Rock No: 5
Cindy has been a potter and clay sculptor for over 30 years. She moved to Mullalyup after graduating in Fine Art at Perth’s Claremont Art School. Cindy established the Clay Dragons Studio (sometimes known as ‘The Potters Shed’) after discovering the superb stoneware clay literally on her doorstep. Apart from creating beautiful pottery and ceramics Cindy is an accomplished sculptor in wood and stone and also a painter and has exhibited in all of these media. Cindy is a much respected and sought after teacher, and she particularly enjoys sharing her skills and love of creativity with children and young people. Her artistry is inspired by the natural form and is often embellished with artifacts she finds such as textiles, feathers, bones and beads.
Irene's Rock: 'Game On'
Rock No 7:
I always promised myself I would take up painting one day. Now in my sixties and semi-retired I have done it!
Living in Bridgetown surrounds you with beautiful landscapes and places of interest to challenge the artistic streak; and the local art group to which I belong gives me the confidence to continue to improve. Learning the basics has changed how I look at things; I find myself staring at scenes wondering how I would paint them, or how I would mix colours to replicate what I am looking at.
Maroo Rocks has been an interesting project and taken me again out of my comfort zone; that’s what I love about painting you just keep evolving.
Sue's Rock: 'The Ammonite'
I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil and, over the years, have attended life drawing classes whenever and wherever they were available: Hobart, PNG, Kalgoorlie, Bridgetown and soon Pemberton. Drawing remains my first love.
I started painting in oils, but didn’t like the smell, and don’t have the patience for the slow drying periods involved. Watercolour is too difficult, so acrylics it is ! Painting-wise I am self-taught.
My great love is animals and, at my funeral, I want “All Gods Creatures Got a Place in the Choir” to be sung (even though I have fallen by the wayside religion wise) as it is my philosophy in life.
My rocks seeks to honour a creature around in those early geological days: the ammonite. It is two sided to satisfy different tastes and moods – natural and fantastical. TAKE YOUR PICK?
Jan's Rock: 'Eddy'
Rock No: 11
Jan Gallop is an oil painter who belongs to an enthusiastic local art group watched over by an equally enthusiastic tutor Tony McAlinden. Jan’s Echidna, Eddy, just begs you to tickle him as he wallows on his stone and Bella, the Butterfly, just morphed onto her chosen rock.
Carolyns Rock: 'The Gift of Water'
Rock No: 13
This beautiful glacial rock, carved and smoothed by ice and water, now symbolically, becomes a spring. She invites the water to use her and flow through her. The supportive Marri stick structure provides balance - earth, water and life.
I have called the rock itself - Psamathe, the Goddess of sandy beaches.
( this piece should not sit directly on the ground outside, as Marri can rot very readily)
Georgina's Rock: 'Bromant'
Rock No: 15
Acquired an arts degree in clay in 2003, works in multimedia and enjoys sculpting creatures. Currently lives in Bridgetown as co-owner of RedsRoost, a self-sufficient 2.5 acre property. Works as a nurse, artist; Mother to three, Grandmother to ten, friend and neighbour to many.
Always willing to support good causes, volunteering much of private time to help others. Loves food, a good yarn, lots of laughter, working in the garden and sunsets.
Jean's Rock : 'Stanley'
Rock No: 16
I needed something to motivate me to start painting again after many years in a full time job, which left little time to spend doing one of the things I loved.
Moving to Bridgetown from the UK was obviously the right thing to do! Having time for myself....I started to dabble with my paints and finally plucked up courage to enter some work in local competition, resulting, after one or two attempts, in a prize and a sale which was a wonderful surprise.
I was eventually persuaded to join a local art group, where I find great support from a wonderful bunch of like-minded "painting from the heart" people!
I loved painting the rock. "Stanley" just seemed to evolve from a standard, sandy, stone fish to the colourful character he now is!
Jann's Rock: 'Habitat'
Rock No :18
Jann Barry is a Bridgetown artist. One morning aged 61 she awoke and thought she might paint – so she did. She is self taught and has been painting for 16 years. What started as an interest became an obsession and morphed into an addiction.
She is represented by The Red Umbrella Gallery in South Fremantle.
Her work is figurative, quirky and wildly colourful mainly because her inner child squashed in for so long is now out and refuses to behave herself.
She has one aim and that is that those looking at her works smile. She considers the best comment she ever received came from a 5 yo who, on examining one of her paintings at length asked, `Wots all this about then`.
She sells locally, nationally and internationally.
She is having the best retirement imaginable.
Margurite's Rock : Possum Blossom
Rock No: 2
I have been a practicing watercolourist for many years with a few successful exhibitions to my name.Other mediums have come my way... I have played and dabbled, but, always come back to watercolour... when asked to join the 'rock painters' I knew it was time to once again get out the acrylics and play... so here is my play.I called my rock "Possum Blossom", for I love the blossoms of our beautiful Eucalypts. As people and mining take over the bush, many eucalyptus varieties are being lost and, therefore many habitats are hugely reduced or have totally disappeared. Where is the possum on my rock??? They too are lost to the mindlessness of this greedy world... so there is no possum, just the leaves and the blossom... memories, of the little honey possums who delight in the sweetness of the nectar as I delight in the beauty of the blossom, are all we will soon have. All of our wild life needs protecting, I am pleased to have been asked to support this 'rock art'.
Tarlz's Rock: 'Ezmay Extinctus'
Rock No 4:
Tarlz and Cindy knew each other for 15 years as friends before becoming partners. And it was through these years as a slightly manic executive in property development that Tarlz used the Clay Dragons Studio as a place of respite where she would come for a ‘sanity- break’ and create some truly stunning work. Unlike Cindy, Tarlz is not formally trained but has been a practicing artist for over 20 years. Since making the ‘Tree Change’ and moving full-time to the Studio some months ago she has been able to fully express herself and is now becoming a most prolific professional artist She draws inspiration from her Maori roots and culture and now feels she is living her dream by taking everyday experiences, such as nature, kids and politics, and turning them into to her art.
Oliver's Rock : 'The Imperium of Man'
Rock No: 6
Oliver Maclean is not only our youngest artist, at 16, but he is also one of the few male artists we have. He proudly calls himself a 'Geek' and has a very specialist form of art that many of us wont of heard of as he is a 'Warhammer' figurine and landscape specialist. Now the nearest any of us 'oldies' probably know is the old 'Airfix' kits - but Oli's are so small and so complex that it makes even the best Airfix model look Neanderthal. Oli has won prizes and actually gets commissions to paint peoples whole armies - hows that for starting young! " To me its all about layering colour" he said " I see a figurine and can imagime how the rusty, blood stained armour might glint and glimmer and then the layering begins until the perfect effect is reached." he added " its very time consuming work - a 5 cm figurine can take up to 5 or 6 days to complete."
Jo's Rock: 'Bugs Rock'
As Co-founder of Maroo Wildlife Refuge my love for painting child hood characters started when I was 10years of age. I have always enjoyed the colour and vibrancy of nature and the wonderful fauna that shares our lives. My rock is named “BUGS ROCK”. I hope “BUGS ROCK” bring your garden and you a special connection to the smallest of our Fauna that are probably the most undervalued little creatures when it comes to the important balance of our precious eco-system. May “BUGS ROCK” bring a smile to your face and joy to you heart?
Joni's Rock : 'Natures Beauty'
Rock No: 10
“My name is Joni Marlow, I am 35 years old and live in a shared group home in Manjimup. I moved here in July from Perth but I have always felt Manjimup is my home.
I enjoy activities in the community like movies, arts and crafts, swimming, aqua-aerobics and nature.
I really enjoy art; I like to paint on canvas or paper to be displayed in frames. I attend art classes on Monday evening each week.”
Robins Rock: Glacial Rock Rug
Rock No: 12
I am a textile artist currently working in the medium of rug hooking with recycled yarns and fabric. I am a very tactile person and love the tactile surface that rug hooking creates.
Initialy I was going to hook over this rock, but as I got in touch with it each day I realised that it was so beautiful that I couldnt cover it. It speaks of its hundreds of thousands ( if not milions!) of year old history. So I decided to hook a 'story telling' rug for it to sit on. It represents the glacier that made and transported this rock to me. Our rock now sits with a snake on top of it to demonstrate it is dry and stable now and is representative of the throng of living creatures who have all come into being over those millenia that it has lain there.
Roz's Rock : 'Done Art'
Rock No: 14
Roz graduated from The National Art School in Sydney in 1960 and for the next twelve years worked, almost exclusively, for a range of American publishing houses.
In 1972 the family moved from Sydney to Perth, and soon after Roz was asked to design and Illustrate the books for the ABC ʻLetʼs Join Inʼ and ʻStorybookʼ programs which she continued to do, along with the work for the USA, until the ABCʼs funding was cut some fourteen years later.
In her second year in WA Roz was approached by the Health Education Department to design their V.D. Information Caravan. What a leap in subject matter! It was a great success and was followed by many more challenging contracts - for example - ʻLetʼs Look at Gastroenteritisʼ. The the brief - ʻDraw children doing runny poo and vomiting, and make it look attractive.ʼ
Illustrating, and decapitating variegated thistles fully occupied Rozʼs time for the first years of her life to Balingup. Then came the Carnivale! One day she hopes, she will be organised enough to get back to illustrating.
Nina (Jan) Retallack
Nina's Rock: Find Numby Numbat
Rock No: 17
Introverted as a child, and living in a community where sport was paramount, I started drawing. Self-taught, I harboured dreams of becoming an art teacher. Life intervened – job, marriage, children, all thought of pursuing art postponed.
Art was a dream that moving to Bridgetown re-awakened. Thoroughly enjoying the art group that I am a part of, I find myself constantly stimulated. Maroo Rocks has been a wonderful challenge that I have loved; it is great to be involved with such a cause.
My rock is Find Numby Numbat; How many Numbats can you find?
Pauline's Rock: 'Rapid Rocks'
Rock No: 19
I came to Bridgetown 10 years ago with my husband to start a small business, and soon realised what a beautiful place it is; the nurturing and caring community spirit just makes you want to be involved.
Art exhibitions, galleries and my husband’s encouragement to explore my creative side now sees me learning to play piano, sing in a choir and paint, all very enjoyable and relaxing.
Painting can take you away into another world as long as you free yourself of any inhibitions and self-doubt; I encourage everyone to give it a try.
My contribution to Maroo Rocks is called Rapid Rocks and took advantage of the natural curves and crevices in the stone to depict flowing and cascading water.
Jodie's Rock: 'Possum Rock'
Rock No: 21
I have always had a passion for wildlife and the environment. I studied at Murdoch University, graduating with a degree in Environmental Science and Environmental Restoration. Volunteering at the Department of Parks and Wildlife introduced me to Maroo Wildlife Refuge. I became a volunteer for Maroo and remain as an active volunteer which I combine with my day job with the Warren Catchments Council. It is a privilege to be a part of Maroo and to learn from two people as knowledgeable and insightful as Jo and Glen.
Sketching is something I have always enjoyed and most of my sketching has concentrated on animals. I am a self taught artist, and sometime into the distant future I may join a class or take formal training.
My Rock is called “Possum Rock”. I chose to paint a Western ringtail possum to depict Maroo and its mission to rehabilitate wildlife and educate people; as well as to represent the importance of conserving and restoring the environment.
This little creature can denote how vulnerable the environment is; he can also embody the changes we need to make by reminding us to walk lightly on the Earth and have a little eco footprint.
Pauls's Rock: 'Nestor Turtle'
Rock No: 23
My name is Paul Strachan and I have been lucky enough to be having painting lessons from a very gifted local artist in Bridgetown. I have had no previous experience at painting before these lessons, and have found it to be a lot of fun.
The name for my rock “Nestor Turtle” came from a BBC series based in the Mediterranean and I fell for the life style, more than the story itself.
My interest in turtles stems from the fantastic effort, Peter Mack would make by travelling from Geraldton to Exmouth each breeding season to protect the turtle eggs from foxes and thus preserving these wonderful creatures. All this at his own cost, receiving nothing but the satisfaction of ‘doing his bit’ to help.
May ‘Nestor..’ add to the richness of the Maroo Wildlife Refuge, a little something to help preserve locally.
Brenda's Rock: 'Glorious Gazanias'
Rock No: 25
My name is Brenda & I have always felt an affinity with nature & art from an early age. I grew up in England where I spent a great deal of time outdoors in all weather searching for wildflowers, which I collected & pressed. I belonged to the art club at my primary school. My high school promoted art as a subject. We went to live in South Africa when I was thirteen which was the start of a eighteen year art famine as there were no art teachers in the two high schools that I attended. Plus I was busy with children & home.
I picked up my art when I came to Australia in 1981 and attended a few TAFE courses, which led to me enjoying botanical art for over ten years.
I have participated in various workshops using different mediums and fell comfortable in most, exploring oil painting presently.
My rock is entitled “Glorious Gazanias”, I love the vibrancy & intricacy of the flowers, although I found painting on a rock quite a challenge!
Bron's Rock: 'A Rolling Stone'
Rock No: 20
My art is the convergence of my desire to metamorphose objects into whimsical characters embellished with humour. I enjoy experimenting with different mediums, so when I was given the opportunity to make my mark on a stone, I was intrigued. Often my themes are combined into installations that feature mundane domestic objects, to create living tactile pieces that can be juxtaposed by itself, against its previous purpose.
“A Rolling Stone”, is a portrait of the famous Mick Jagger, a member and lead singer of the rock band The Rolling Stones. I just couldn’t go past the desire to draw, A Rolling Stone, from The Rolling Stones on a once rolling stone.
During my journey into creating this piece I was conflicted by his association, or lack of, with the natural environment. To my surprise I discovered that Mick Jagger, has worked tirelessly as an environmentalist, and was named Peru’s Ambassador through his work to save the Amazon Jungle. And has even had an ancient trilobite (sea cockroach) named after him, Aegrotocatellus jaggeri.
Dianne's Rock: 'Above and Below'
Rock No: 22
I painted during my school years but ceased in 1971 until moving to Bridgetown in 1999. I joined a water colour and drawing class run at Pip’s Pottery and the bug started.
Over the years a very special group of budding artists met weekly and we learnt art from videos, then attended TAFE classes which expanded my knowledge to using acrylics & oils. I now meet weekly with a great group, painting with oils and still learning lots from a very special teacher.
I chose my deformed rock because it was not totally smooth like the others. The rock had a nice grain to it and I wanted to keep some of this naturalness; and decided to make the “sticky-out-bit” an island with the shoreline moving into the depths of the ocean, highlighting the wildlife of the seas.
Dianne's Rock: 'Stoney Stoney Night'
Rock No: 24
I have drawn and painted all my life finding inspiration in the colours of nature; my garden and food. I studied art at ECU, Bunbury in 1996 where I became interested in oil painting. During the next 10 years I painted impressions of gardens for 4 solo exhibitions and commissions for private gardens.
My Rock is called "Stoney Stoney Night" and is a fun take on Vincents Starry Starry Night.
Dianna's Rock: 'Undecided Ghecko'
Rock No: 26
I was born in London and studied art at Twickenham Technical College. I then worled as an Assistant Art Editor on a couple of picture strip magazines owned by the Mirror Group.I migrated to Perth with husband Terry and son Jonathan in 1977 studying art at Perth Technical College receiving a Diploma in Art Studies in 1982. I taught history of art at Perth Technical College from 1983-1984 and had works in various exhibitions. Did a double major in History and English Literature in 1988, receiving a Batchelor of Arts Degree from UWA. We bought land in Balingup in 1997 and I helped Terry build our recycled house and moved permanantly to Balingup in 2001. This journey with the stones takes me back to my first ever 'solo' exhibition - which was actually at Pips Gallery in 2005. I am currently involved with various Arts projects for the Balingup Small Farm Field Day and Balingup Medieval Carnivale. I am currently working with a team on a mosaic floor for St Peter's Church.
I have enjoyed painting on stone and feel inspired to use different surfaces in future.