Esperance,Western Australia


With Karen McClurkin, manager of The Cannery Arts Centre

Esperance 4

A botanical Journal workshop, held at The Cannery

Esperance 2

Offshoots in the wonderful Cannery Arts Centre space

Esperance 3

Meet the artist and floor Talk

Esperance 5

Pottery studio and artist’s residence, at the back of The Cannery Arts Centre

Three flights and a short drive on 20 April put me outside the local fish ‘n’ chip shop in Esperance WA,all up a 12 hour journey.  The Cannery Art Centre in Esperance is hosting Offshoots until early May and I had arrived to facilitate a Botanical Journal Workshop and floor talk over three evenings.  A fortuitous time schedule which left me with daylight hours to explore the pristine and close by National Park, Cape le Grande, and sketch some of the local flora.

The Cannery sits opposite one of the beautiful beaches of the area and close to a long jetty and understated foreshore development complete with the ‘Coffee Cat’ barrow, its friendly staff and excellent coffee and muffins.  Karen McClurkin, Manager of the Cannery and an artist in her own right, does a fantastic job with clever foresight and limited funds, assisted of course by loyal volunteers and community members.

Offshoots looked fantastic in the one huge space, filling the walls with everything hung, bar the 3m high pandanus on paper, which are yet to make the hang anywhere apart from Cairns!

Tuesday evenings’ workshop was spent indoors with a huge selection of local seedpods, grasses, eucalypts, succulents and flowers but Wednesday’s subject matter  was taken care of by (another) Karen who arrived with armfuls of the  Pincushion Hakea, Hakea laurina.  An instant hit with everyone, including me!

Thursday’s Meet the Artist evening was a lovely opportunity for me to speak about the project and to say au revoir to the Cannery Arts Centre and some of the people who make it tick.  Next week Offshoots Touring Exhibition leaves Esperance to begin the Northern NSW and Queensland leg of the tour.



ffshoots is currently at the popular and appealing East Gippsland Art Gallery. I say popular because before the exhibition was even on the walls, a text message was relayed to me from a friend of a friend who happened to be there when my paintings were being hung!   Also, EGAG  has a very enthusiastic membership and associated arts community who made the most of the Public Programs opportunities.

 Museum and Gallery Services Queensland chose the delightful Riversleigh for my accommodation.  Very central, it sits opposite the Gallery alongside the Mitchell River and is a couple of minutes walk from the workshop venue.  Riversleigh’s Friday evening tapas in the garden was the perfect end to a travel day; Bairnsdale is an enjoyable four-hour train ride through country Victoria. 

 Saturday’s Mixed Media Workshop, held in the spectacular TAFE art room, was full with fifteen talented participants, all of whom brought something different to work with and enjoyed trying some new techniques.  The day flew by in a sort of ordered chaos amid paints, glues, tissue paper, wool, found objects etc and ended with fifteen interesting works.

 I had offered a floor talk for Sunday morning so the EGAG volunteers hosted a special opening, complete with morning tea.  This was also my opportunity to see the exhibition in situ and I found it hung exceptionally well, filling the small gallery nicely.   With a captive audience for the floor talk, of around thirty five people, I proceeded to talk.  And talk.  And talk.  What’s more interesting is that everyone listened, attentively – for one and a half hours!  

 Thank you Bairnsdale for your enthusiastic interest in my work and in the partnership between myself, Cairns Botanic Gardens and Tanks Arts Centre.

 Partially funded through Local and State Government, East Gippsland Gallery relies on funds raised by Friends of EGAG and the Gallery Shop for it’s operational costs.


East Gippsland Art Gallery.




Bairnsdale 3

Mixed media workshop.

Bairnsdale 4

Exhibition opening.

Bairnsdale 5

Offshoots at East Gippsland Art Gallery.

Bairnsdale 6.

A unique space.

Bairnsdale 7. Information at