CQUniversity-linked artists collect Rockhampton’s past in unique exhibition

Published:03 May 2018

CQUniversity-trained artists Peta Lloyd, Michelle Black, Clare Ford and Belinda McGrath have joined with staff member Derek Lamb to present ReCollection, an art exhibition at the Walter Reid Gallery on Rockhampton's early years.

A quintet of visual artists with strong ties to CQUniversity, will unearth Rockhampton’s past through a thought-provoking and multi-faceted exhibition at the Walter Reid Centre from 6-12 May.

Capricornia Printmakers artists Belinda McGrath, Peta Lloyd, Michelle Black and Clare Ford have joined Officina Athelstane printmaker and CQUniversity staff member Derek Lamb to create ReCollection, “an unexpected look into the stories and faces of the region’s past”.

Inspired by a series of books about Rockhampton’s early settlement republished by Mark Svendsen’s Coorooman Press, the artists have captured poignant moments of history in ink, wax, textile, metal and even mud.

Michelle created designs using mud from the Fitzroy River.

“I love the river. There has been four floods in the time I’ve lived here and it’s100 years since the 1918 flood, so it has a lot of meaning,” she said.

Clare said she was inspired by how each artist in the collective presented “different ideas under a common theme”.

She worked closely with the Rockhampton Historical Society to gather vintage textiles including lace, to inspire prints of delicate lace worn by Rockhampton’s early European settlers.

Peta also utilised textiles to create prints telling the story of a shipwreck and survival off the Queensland coast.

The artists said Derek’s work of prints, made on an 1887 Alexandra hand press added another dimension of authenticity.

“My work is quite different because it’s more about the written word than the visuals,” he said.

Belinda's work holds strong links to her Rockhampton ancestry, as well as iconic architectural pieces.

Four of the artists are members of the Capricornia Printmakers, who have held six major exhibitions since the group was formed. The majority of members all have a connection to CQUniversity’s visual arts department with most having completed short courses or diploma-level training.

All of them encouraged budding artists to consider undertaking visual arts training.

“If you’re passionate about art – about anything – then you should follow it through,” Clare said.

“You can’t underestimate how much better your art can be when you’re surrounded by other artists.”

ReCollection opened at the Walter Reid Centre on Saturday 5 May at 6pm and runs until 12 May. The exhibition will also be hosted at the Rockhampton Art Gallery in July/August.

Click HERE for more information on CQUniversity’s Visual Arts courses.