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Saturday, June 18, 2011

John Douglas

John Douglas decided he wanted to be an artist and immediately began painting at the age of 8, and has never had any misgivings about his decision to follow the artistic path. He studied at the Queensland College of Art until his expulsion in 1984 for being a “disruptive and disturbing influence”.

He has had many group and solo exhibitions in Australia and around the world. His international solo exhibitions include shows in France, USA, Thailand, Malaysia and China. His drawings were exhibited as part of the 2010 Outsiders Art Festival in Adelaide.

Douglas worked as the Visual Arts Director for the QAF Arts Festival in 1999. He has campaigned and advocated for people with HIV as well as disadvantaged children.

He has been a teaching consultant in art therapy at a psychiatric hospital, and occasionally conducts specialty self-expression art workshops. In 2004 he was invited as Artist in Residence to conduct painting workshops at Lockhart River Aboriginal Community, Cape York, Australia.

John Douglas was one of twelve artists internationally to be given an Inspiration Award in 2010 for his photograph 'Imagine' for World Peace Day in the USA. This photo took part in a touring exhibition throughout the USA and has since inspired Peace murals in Los Angeles and Sierra Leone.

His films have featured in international film festivals. In 2010 Douglas won the International Outrate Short Film Festival for his film 'Ward 9'. The film ‘Twelve Black Horses’ was screened on one hundred screens worldwide as part of the Digital Fringe Festival, 2010. Three of the paintings featured in the film ‘Twelve Black Horses’ will be displaying in the 2011 Outsiders Art Festival.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Helene Hardy

When stars ignite in spectral flight
The epitome of latent ability can be summed up in two words: Helene Hardy. Don’t bother remembering the name, you won’t have to. Instead, history’s tomes will valiantly take on this task when they vividly recount her journey through life. Helene exploded into the Art Scene of the Adelaide Hills early 2010 seemingly out of nowhere, and has not looked back since. A contemporary abstract artist, whose widely varied works range from her stark ‘winteresque’ black and whites; a myriad of haunting echoes and fiery thought provoking scenes of contempt, right through to the relaxed psychedelic fusions of hot pink and lime green, she has amazed her supporters with relentless passion and now stands, feet firmly planted, at the gateway to her inevitable success.
Helene’s inspiration has come from fruitful years of travel to many exotic destinations. She has resided in a variety of non-English speaking countries and immersed herself in their culture. She has seen incredible feats of architectural history, visited galleries around the world, witnessed crumbling murals at Pompeii, and experienced first-hand the hum of the planet’s diversity. Initially, this inspiration manifested itself in her cooking. Many years passed before she finally decided to pour her heart and soul into the canvas, and the result was an immediate success.
Helene has always been a creative soul. After completing her studies in Fashion Design at Salford College, U.K. she soon got married, had children and devoted her creative energies to the kitchen. Her cooking has always been sought after by her friends, which accounts for the interminable amounts of dinner parties she has hosted over the years. This is especially due to the sheer versatility she employs in the kitchen and the unique flavours she produces. Her kitchen utensils and ingredients have always been selected carefully to enable her to practice the art of cooking Thai, Indian, Chinese, Italian, Greek, Persian, French and Moroccan. It is no small wonder then that her art is as diverse as her culinary skills.
After a remarkable debut in 2010, she has painted well over 100 acrylic canvases. Her pieces have been on display in numerous galleries in the hills as well in the Sala Festival and the Heysen Artist Trail. Her growing clientele have bought and commissioned her art in Melbourne, San Francisco, London, New Zealand as well other parts of the U.S.A. The surroundings of her lovely home in the hills influence her strongly; as does the architectural dream that she and her husband Robin live in.
Helene loves using bold colours; her travels and experience have afforded her an uncanny ability to enhance her innate creativity to produce stunning pieces in striking blends of colour, texture and design. Experience has shown that every person viewing her art sees something completely different in each painting. Her pictures are what YOU see in your own mind’s eye and YOUR imagination is what makes her art so different.
When Helene isn’t frenetically painting new canvases with a reserved fanaticism, cooking wondrous delights in the kitchen, making idle conversation with her two highly intelligent Siamese cats, cultivating a small paradise at her property with her husband, or relaxing to smooth Jazz in the sanctity of her small piece of heaven near Nairne, you will find her on the swing chair under the gum tree contemplating life’s beauty.