Rural life inspires new art exhibitions

Nicholas Osmond in front of some of his paintings currently on display at Moree Plains Gallery.
Nicholas Osmond in front of some of his paintings currently on display at Moree Plains Gallery.

RURAL Australia is being showcased in the Moree Plains Gallery’s newest two exhibitions, opening at 5.30pm Friday night. 

Queensland artist Peta Warner will explore her memories of rural life in her graphite drawing and mixed media installation exhibition, The Keeper. Meanwhile, locals James Kearns and Nicholas Osmond will present their abstract impressions of our area in Capturing Moree.

Inspired by her family’s history as migratory beekeepers and sheep farmers, Peta created finely detailed graphite drawings of agricultural tools and family mementos on rabbit skin. 

“They really elevate those everyday farm items into these beautiful works of art,” gallery director Vivien Clyne said. 

The drawings join a sculptural work series of sheepskin and wood.

“Moree’s actually developing into a bit of a creative hub, and lots of well known artists do come through,” James said.

Moree’s actually developing into a bit of a creative hub, and lots of well known artists do come through.

James Kearns

Painting is a compulsion for James, who took the risk five years ago, leaving graphic design to paint full time. 

Harsher and less luscious than his previous home in the Southern Highlands, James said he felt he was finally starting to perfect the Moree landscape in his work. 

He doesn’t try to replicate the image he said.

“It's more about sitting in the landscape and getting a feel for it and developing a language for that.”

I always knew that Nick had the head to be a really good artist.

James Kearns

James is pleased to be exhibiting with his good friend Nicholas, who has found great success in the art world in just two years of painting.

“I always knew that Nick had the head to be a really good artist, and he kept asking me to teach him to paint.” 

Nicholas’ abstract portraits take inspiration from photographs in one of local historian Noeline Briggs-Smith’s books. 

“I really envy his rawness, it's quite raw,” James said.

“His work is really his personality, which I admire.”

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