Book and exhibition to highlight the artistic talents of former CQUni staffer Margaret Worthington

23 March 2021

CQUniversity's renowned art collection will receive a significant boost with the upcoming launch of an exhibition of works by former staff member and Gladstone artist' Margaret Worthington.

'Margaret Worthington: Land' Air' Sand' Sea' Spirit. 40 years in Queensland' is a survey of the artist's works produced in Queensland over the past 40 years.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a book available at the exhibition and now from the CQUniversity Bookshop both in store and online at $29.95 (special pre-launch price for a limited time prior to 7 May) and later at $34.95 plus a flat postage rate of $10 anywhere in Australia.

The 108-page illustrated book published by CQUniversity is the first major study of Margaret's art and provides an overview of her life and work over the past 40 years and the intellectual processes which underlie her creative endeavour.

The exhibition will be held at CQUniversity Gladstone Marina Campus from 7 May – 4 June' 2021 and is a survey of the artist's works produced in Queensland over the past 40 years. It will present more than 60 watercolour and acrylic paintings' sculptures in aluminium and fibreglass' and installations of watercolours and sculptures with projected videos and photographs.

CQUni Art Collection Manager Sue Smith said the project continues the University's policy of actively collecting' researching and bringing to public attention the artwork of living artists in the cities and regions the university serves.

"The University has collected and displayed art on its campuses and lent artworks to public galleries since the 1970s and since 2014 has encouraged the creativity of our current and past students and staff through the annual CQU Creates Art Awards'" she said.

"In exposing the full range of Margaret Worthington's work for the first time to a wide audience' we hope to bring to it the recognition it deserves.

"The project was initiated in 2020 to celebrate Margaret's 70th year. CQUniversity is proud to own 38 of Margaret's works' many of which are on permanent display at our Gladstone Campuses and at our other sites around Australia.

"The University will present many of these works in the exhibition' along with loans from the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum and private collectors' as we honour her contribution to Australian art."

Born in Johannesberg' South Africa and growing up in Northern Rhodesia' Margaret moved to Gladstone and settled in Calliope in the mid-70s.

A thoughtful' versatile and inventive artist' Margaret is a designer' painter and sculptor. She has travelled widely in Queensland and overseas to the United States' Japan and Shetland' Scotland and the United Kingdom' producing many different kinds of art – from watercolours of birds and animals' outback landscapes' dry and tropical rainforests' coasts and islands' to installations and small and large sculptures commemorating people' cultures and places.

Her art is often a medium of social engagement. Appealing to look at and exulting in the beauty and awesome power of nature' her art entertains as it educates viewers and conveys messages about humanity's duty to conserve both natural and man-made environments.

She has produced significant series of work on the Queensland outback and rainforests; industry within the environment (focusing on the structures and processes of Queensland Alumina Limited in the Gladstone region); the coral cays of Heron Island and Lady Elliot Island in the southern area of the Great Barrier Reef; seagrasses of the Gladstone Harbour; and the wildlife and environments of the Shetland archipelago in Scotland (she was an artist in residence at Sumburgh Lighthouse in 2015 and Bressay Lighthouse in 2016).

Her works are to be found in private and public collections in Australia' South Africa' the UK and the United States. Her major commissions include a sculptural façade in steel and aluminium for the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum' as well as installations for CQUniversity Gladstone Marina and the Hinkler Hall of Aviation' Bundaberg' and large-scale outdoor sculptures in wood and metal throughout Central Queensland.