No Title

Finalist Clayton Utz Art Prize 2022

No Title 2400

Observation and imagination. The white lines are a wireframe perspective of GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art) which sits on the Brisbane River at Kurilpa Point (Queensland, Australia). Using early photographs of European settlement, explorers’, convicts’  and botanist’s’ accounts along with indigenous histories, I was able to site this existing building within a landscape which I imagine would be very similar to that the indigenous population experienced pre settlement. The name of this work, “No Title”, refers to the contested nature of land ownership here in Australia as result of invasion and colonization. The Native Title Act 1993 is a law passed by the Australian Parliament that recognises the rights and interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in land and waters according to their traditional laws and customs.

Charcoal, pastel on Arches paper, 89 x 144 cm

Maria’s Garden Scheme b

Finalist Lyn Mcrea Drawing Award 2021

Maria's Garden, Scheme B 2400

My earlier career as an architectural illustrator was based on observation of both existing and imagined buildings, landscapes and spaces.

Five years ago I started sketching my neighbour Maria’s garden.

The detail is important.  Maria’s philosophy “waste not, want not” is in those details.  Maria has worked hard since she arrived here, a teenager from war torn Italy. Through hard work and thrift, her garden supplied her family with food.  Nothing is wasted. The climbing frames, sheds and tools have been recycled from elsewhere. Plants come from cuttings and seeds she has saved. Water is collected from the roof, directed into rubbish bins and ladled out with a saucepan tied to a broomstick.

Our suburb is under pressure from new developments. Houses and gardens in our street are demolished in a few hours to make way for new buildings – the sort I used to illustrate. I know that one day Maria’s garden will be lost.  With this drawing, I have overlaid a ‘wire frame’ digital perspective line drawing showing how a future building might be positioned. I wish to draw attention to a way of living, and a life, that one day we will only have memories of.

Charcoal, pastel 67 x 108 cm

Black Dog 2020

Finalist Dobell Drawing Prize #22

Grealy Jane_Black Dog 2_DDP22 copy

For many years I have drawn my local dog park. I am fascinated by its existence, hidden behind a dense screen of trees within the highly regulated fabric of an inner city suburb. I study the dogs and the landscape carefully, then draw them, observing the changes and movements. I feel I know my subject intimately – but never totally. As I draw, the charcoal makes a soft sound on the taut, stretched paper, shapes and textures form, almost without conscious effort.

Bushfires now threaten where they never have before. Far from the fires, cities are blanketed by a smoky haze. The knowledge that, at its source, life and death dramas are playing our, casts a pall over landscape and people. Covid 19 follows and uncertainty reigns. New patterns form and protocols form. The two dogs approach each other – ready to fight or play? Or is it just one dog and its reflection?

Watercolour, charcoal, pastel on Arches paper, 120 x 90 cm

Cancer He Said

Finalist Brisbane Portrait Prize 2021

final cancer he said

“Cancer” he said as he stood at the end of my bed.  A few days later “We got it all”. This man and his team had saved my life. What drives him to be constantly searching for a better outcome for women’s cancer? From where does his inspiration come to drive his research? When asked, he said that an idea could come when least expected, sparked by a comment from a patient or a visiting researcher, a question raised by a colleague, an insight given by his wife.

Andreas Obermair is a gynaecological oncologist and Professor of Gynaecological Oncology at the University of Queensland. A dedicated researcher, he is focussed on creating gentler, kinder treatments for patients with gynaecological cancer.

Oil on linen, 152 x 101 cm

Waiting for Dad (iii)

Finalist Du Ritz Art Award 2020

Waiting for Dad 3-2

This is my grandson Thomas, after school, sitting on our front wall, waiting for his dad. I have looked after him one day a week since he was a baby. He is nearly twelve now and changing a lot, the way he thinks about the world and his place in it. Amongst all the challenges of an uncertain world, at the end of the day, he waits for his father.

Oil on linen, 137 x 83 cm.

Waiting for Dad (i)

2400 Waiting for Dad 1

Thomas is eleven years old and has grown up in Brisbane. He is fortunate to have benefitted from an excellent public school, health care, a stable government and justice system, in a country mostly free of serious conflict. Like many of his generation, he is now experiencing a relentless media environment, a dense blanket which propels concerns and challenges.

Oil on linen, 137 x 83 cm.

Axis Mundi (Harry in the Window)

Semi-finalist Doug Moran Portrait Prize 2019

2400 Axis Mundi (Harry in the Window)

I had done several portraits of Harry’s brother Thomas where Harry was in the background – so when I asked if I could take some photos, he was ready with a variety of poses, all of his own making. His decision defined the composition, a centring of his world, framing a typical Brisbane backyard.

Oil on linen, 137 x 83 cm.