Touring Noosa’s Art

Image source: IN Noosa Magazine

Noosa may be the relaxation capital of Australia but look a little deeper and you will find an absolute hive of artistic creativity. Artists being artists are often hard to track down. Pete Goodlet discovers Art Tours Noosa has done the research for you and have a stable of renowned artists, eager to welcome you into their creative spaces.

On a sunny Saturday morning, an excited group of art lovers gathered at the Noosa Bus Station. Our transport arrives right on schedule and after a friendly greeting from our expedition leader Read and our driver Craig, we climb aboard. The bus proved to be as comfortable as it was colourful. Each of us was supplied with a glass bottle of water and a comprehensive guide to the artists we would be visiting.

Industrial areas are not the obvious destination to uncover talented artists but our first stop to the studio of painter Mitchell English got us excited for what the day would bring. Working in the vibrant Thomas surfboard precinct compliments Mitchell’s “surf art” with its crisp lines and vibrant coastal feel.

A glass of bubbles was the perfect accompaniment to a studio tour and a chat with Mitchell discussing his creative process, artistic career and what brought him to Noosa… spoiler alert Noosa’s surf culture may have played a big part in this decision.

Back on the bus and we off to the lofty workspace of sculptural jeweller Gerhard Herbst. A tropical thunderstorm added to the sense of adventure as Read handed us umbrellas for the short dash to the studio. These guys are prepared for all contingencies.

This is a true working space where strands of copper and silver are transformed into sculptural jewellery pieces. A moodily lit section of the studio was the perfect place for Gerhard to demonstrate his latest artistic bent of using backlighting to project shadow images of his stunning work.

Next up, the magical gallery of timber craftsman Kevin Dick. Kevin’s gallery is a museum of nautical and historical displays. We explored his workshop where he creates magical sculptures using timber, fibreglass and stainless steel. Kevin regaled us with some stories and delighted in showing off his space. Don’t forget to check out his very unique ceiling fan.

A quick drop into the Noosa Regional Gallery gave us the chance to hear from Floating Lands artists Yanni Van Zigl and Pam Walpole. We stood on the banks of Noosa River as Yanni and Pam explained the thoughts and process behind their Poly Pods installation. Made from recycled milk bottles, these ethereal works draw your mind to the devastation plastics are causing to our waterways and oceans.

Leaving Noosa behind, we headed towards the beautiful hinterland property and studio of the renowned British Pop Artist Peter Phillips. Our colourful bus cruised through the garden and past beautiful ponds with water spouts and rock waterfalls.

Peter’s all-white studio makes a dramatic statement against its verdant tropical landscape. To explore this studio and Peter’s artwork is an absolute joy. Made even more fabulous by the warmth of hosts Peter and Zoe. Combine this with a gourmet lunch and a glass or two of Prosecco or locally crafted beer and you are in hinterland heaven.

Whips almost needed cracking to get us out of there and back on the bus, but with the promise of further adventures we were off and away. Up the hill to the home and studio of superbly talented Trevor Purvis. And I do mean up the hill, Trevor’s studio is on the edge of a mountain and the views are stupendous. In these lofty heights, Trevor creates his vibrant award-winning landscapes.

Quixotica is the final destination on our tour, a truly fabulous property created over thirty years by one of Australia’s foremost ceramic artists, Rowley Drysdale. Rowley gave us an excellent tour of his studio and wood-fired kilns as we traversed paths edged with towering bamboos and tropical fruits.

Perched above a stunning lagoon is a delightful timber structure where you can admire Rowley’s finished pieces and, if you’re lucky, spot a kingfisher or two! Our arty adventure in paradise left us INspired and enlightened. Noosa certainly has a fabulous artistic community.

Thank you, Art Tours Noosa Team for an excellent day that went by too fast. Luckily you dropped us back to Hastings Street just in time for cocktail hour!

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