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Still Life Comes Alive, a Q&A with the Artists

Still Life Comes Alive, a Q&A with the Artists

The dedicated Museum Volunteer Guides have always lots of questions and take a great interest in our Temporary Gallery installations. 

For the current exhibition, Still Life Comes Alive, they asked numerous questions wanting to know more than the exhibition shows about the creative endeavours of the artists so they can tell interesting stories to the visitors.

Ann Brown: “Hello Luisa Manea. I am very taken with the beautiful crosses you have made for ‘Still Life Comes Alive’ in the Temporary Gallery. Is it possible for you to tell me the region of Italy each cross refers to? I am wondering if they reflect certain characteristics of each region – eg the flowers of that area.”

Luisa: “Hi Ann. Thank you for reaching out to find out further information. Each cross is very much made up. On each cross there is a 3D representation of what makes Cairns so unique and the base cross represents the church from Italy. There’s jelly fish, cane cutter with a knot hankie tied to his head – a very Italian thing to do when working, cane cutters knife, flowers, birds, snakes, beetles…these are the hardships and beauty of Cairns.

Each cross is different as each family would have had different struggles and happiness. It’s the same in Italy, there are never two crosses the same in a church. They are always hand crafted and they are always created from fine craftsmanship in many different mediums.

HHH…is the perfect starting letter for so many things about Cairns and the church: hell, heaven, hot, humid, hats, home, hunt (wild boars), happy, history, heirloom, harvest, heart…”

ceramic cross by Luisa Manea
ceramic cross by Luisa Manea
ceramic cross by Luisa Manea

Angela Fielding is the artist who made two amazing Glass Trees from the local upcycled timber.

Ann Brown: “What type of the upcycled wood have you used, Angela?”

Angela: “A piece of local Rain Tree was used for Earth Mother, while an upcycled Mango Tree was used for the Turtle. The organic style and eminence of the local upcycled timbers makes a dramatic contrast to the amazing colours and different textures of the stained glass. I encase the glass forms in timber so that they are protected by a dramatic and strong energy as I live with optimism that the natural environment will always be.”

Glass Trees artwork by Angela Fielding
Angela Fielding Glass Trees sculpture

Eunice McAllister is the digital photography master. 

Several of us were intrigued by the two dimensional print creating a three dimensional effect. The collages draw you in just like a museum cabinet does with its items.

Eunice kindly replied to our amazement the following: Some of what I do has to do with layering, fitting selections to the backdrop. I’ll use drop shadows and blur them quite a bit in order to attach layers and make them appear to be an extension of the background. ‘Fading off’ a selection makes it appear even more like the selection belongs there and this is accomplished by a large feathered part of a selection being darkened. Occasionally I use blend modes that allow two superimposed layers to be seen simultaneously at different strengths, such as multiply and hard light. Generally, playing with the light and shadow tends to bring things forward or make them recede and this is the 3D effect you notice.”

artwork by Eunice McAllister digital photographer
Artwork by Eunice McAllister digital photographer

Enjoy the exhibition, everyone. It is on display until 9 March 2024. 

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