A love of vintage wares and an impulse decision opened up a world of travel and artistic endeavour for emerging local artist Fiona Hayes.
Fiona was enticed into a store by the objects on display but on a whim signed on to do a six week beginner’s watercolour class instead. Describing herself as more a “maker” than an artist, Fiona was captivated by the watercolour technique immediately and motivated by the classes, which she attended three times in a row.
While prolific in the early months, Fiona admits that her early works were plentiful but “pretty awful”. She willingly shared this image of her first watercolour painting done in February 2015. She encourages all aspiring artists to just dive in like she did. Time, practise, good materials and a few lessons will open up a world of enjoyment and friendship.
The opportunity to expand her education and foster friendships with other artists motivated her to attend classes in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney. As she started to develop her own style she joined several international painting workshops in the United Kingdom and Italy.
Since she began painting in 2015 Fiona has achieved acclaim winning awards at several competitions most notably 1st prize for a Landscape at the QCWA Art Exhibition State final in 2018. Even more impressive is the list of countries where Fiona has work in private collections - Italy, Singapore, USA, Canada, South Africa and Colombia.
Watercolour is one of the most prized and appreciated painting techniques in contemporary art. Fiona uses a limited palette of about eight colours and mixes combinations of these to create new colours. She also insists on making no compromises on the quality of paints, brushes and papers that she uses. By doing so, she creates the most beautiful colour washes in soft shades of pink, purple and blue. But every now and then she creates a bolder statement building up layers and washes to create an intense colour statement.
“I really enjoy some diversity in my painting and continue to experiment with new styles capturing beautiful scenes from all over the world.” Fiona Hayes 2019
The exhibition employs recycled plastics to explore ideas around the environment, consumption and our throwaway culture by creating an immersive plastic environment mimicking nature.
It aims to be a playful, engaging environment while still providing food for thought on environmental issues, the importance of recycling and an awareness of the sheer volume of single use plastic employed in our everyday lives.
Saturday 25 May at 10am Official Opening of Mary Elizabeth Barron’s Plastic Doesn’t Grow on Trees
Saturday 25 May at 1pm to 4pm Learn how to make a diagonal weave basket from packing tape, light cardboard or heavy paper. Workshop with Mary Elizabeth Barron $30
Tuesday 28 May 9am to 10am Toddler Tuesday activity with Mary Elizabeth Barron
Tuesday 28 May 12 midday to 3pm Learn techniques for making jewellery from paper or plastic. A bangle will be made with potential to also make earrings (for pierced ears) or pendant. Workshop with Mary Elizabeth Barron $30
Wednesday 29 May and Thursday 30 May 10am to 3pm Activities and tours for school aged children with Mary Elizabeth Barron
This project was made possible by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, which supports the arts in regional and remote Australia.
Image: Common name Christmas cactus, Scientific name Pollutenvirous plasticlipae Mary Elizabeth Barron Image courtesy of the artist