Bimblebox: art – science – nature Artists

You will find here a brief biography for each of the artists, with some of the artists writing about the Bimblebox Art Project.

Honouring Jagalingou country, 2013, Dr Pamela CroftWarcon, Howard Butler. Kaylene Butler, photo Carl Warner.

Howard (Joe) Butler

Howard is also known as Joe and was born in 1961 at Rockhampton, Queensland.
He is a descendant of the Georang Georang people from Bundaberg and Ijman-Gangulu
people of Central West Queensland. As a middle child, he was brought up with
strong cultural knowledge and experiences, and was influenced by his
grandparents and parents.

The most important cultural knowledge was passed on by his mother. He began
making art at a young age. During that time, cultural art was not favourable
and Howard was told not to depict his culture. In the present day it gives him
the opportunity to express, exchange and tell of his people’s culture which
also continues in strength by reclaiming and maintaining it through the Arts.

In the 1990’s Howard’s artworks became public through the opportunity of
working with communities locally, nationally and internationally. He continues
to teach, deliver cultural talks, mentors and helps people in need by donating

Kaylene Butler

Kaylene was born in 1968 in Rockhampton Queensland. She is a proud Gungarrie Iman Woman and South Sea Islander. She has worked in the film industry as a Production Manager, Consultant, Script writing, Presenter, Producer and Trainer. She works with community engagement and enjoys Guest speaking. She worked as a Casual Art Teacher with Central Queensland TAFE teaching cultural art for Certificate III to understand cultural diversity and for Buderoo Employment and Training Centre as a Trainer.

Currently she is establishing her business Kima Consultant to provide arts management connecting indigenous artists and people with Industry, consultation and community engagement.

Dr Pamela CroftWarcon

Born 1955 Cooma New South Wales Australia; a Kooma clan descendent, of the
Yuwaalaraay language people, South West Queensland Australia. Lives and works
from her studio workshop near Keppel Sands on the Capricorn Coast in Central
Queensland, Australia – the mainland Country of the Darumbal Peoples and the
waters of the Woppaburra clan.

Dr. Pamela CroftWarcon has practised as an independent visual artist since
the mid-eighties producing artworks from her lived experience, guided by her
Aboriginality, and training in both Aboriginal and Western traditional art
forms. She is an academic who has worked extensively in Queensland and the
Northern Territory, Australia. CroftWarcon is often described as a bricoluer
and conceptual installation artist; also manager of her arts and cultural
business; a master tutor and facilitator for workshops; an art judge; a
reviewer, author and social history researcher. She facilitates and coordinates
various community cultural development projects, curates exhibitions, works in
curriculum design, implementation, evaluation and other various community
consultancies and projects. Pamela is an active member and representative for
Indigenous and community art groups advocating for artists rights, social
justice, self-determination and empowerment. She was the first Indigenous
person to gain a Doctor of Visual Arts.

Coalface, 2014, Alison Clouston and Boyd, photo Stephen Oxenbury

Alison Clouston and Boyd

The visual artist Alison and the musician, sound artist and composer Boyd
collaborate on installation projects that explore the interconnections of
people and the rest of nature. Alison completed a Master of Fine Arts degree at
the University of New South Wales in 2004 and Boyd graduated at the Sydney
Conservatorium of Music with a Diploma of Jazz Studies in 1987. Their work
brings a curiosity for science into relationship with material and sound in a
poetic synthesis – using original soundtrack recorded or performed live,
materials both natural and technological, sometimes including photography and
drawing. Their often visitor-interactive and solar-powered installations are
made with a concern for their climate impact and include a carbon audit and
offset as an integral part of the work.

On Bimblebox:
Alison and Boyd used a small movement sensor camera which records sounds as
well as image. They were able to capture the private, generally unseen moments
of the bird life visiting the water troughs.   They took photographs and
sound recordings in the field and began sculptural pieces of protective
structures for various abandoned bird nests found on Bimblebox.  All of
this data has become the raw material for developing art work.


REsearch_2013. Donna Davis, mixed media installation, pigment print on satin, sand_Image courtesy of artist

Donna Davis

Inspired by the natural world I choose to work with things found within the
landscape both natural and human made: Working across mediums I use assemblage,
installation and digital media to capture and create sites of ecological

My arts practice explores the nexus between art and science, with a
particular interest in the fields of botany and ecology. My interest in the
19th century fascination with capturing, collecting and displaying the natural
world is also reflected in my works.

As an artist I am intrigued with the idea of connection, and how our
connections result in action. In this project I will explore the intrinsic
connection between plants and humans reflecting on the vital role ecosystems
play in the health of our planet and in turn to human well-being.

At Bimblebox:
Donna explored the idea of currency in relation to the Bimblebox reserve,
reflecting on the social construct of perceived value: mining versus flora.

Both are resources from the earth, and like us, form part of the biosphere:
the living ecosystem that sustains all life.

My work focuses on human connection and disconnection between the two,
examining endangered, vulnerable and rare flora in the area with a view to
create works which challenge the existing narrative of value in relation to the


15 Endangered Black-throated Finches lineup, 2014, Emma Lindsay, photo Elouise.

Emma Lindsay

Emma Lindsay is a Brisbane-based artist and occasional freelance
curator. Her current studio project Bearing witness considers the
representation of endangered and extinct Australian birds and their habitats.

Lindsay graduated in 2009 from Queensland College of Art with a Bachelor of
Fine Arts (1st class Honours), and is a current 2012 PhD scholarship candidate
with RMIT. In 2010 she was awarded an Australia Council Artstart Grant, and the
Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts and Arts Queensland Fresh Ground
Grant and Residency. In 2011 she has been grant recipient of a BAER Art Centre
Artist Residency in Höfðaströnd Iceland, Murray’s Cottage Hill End
Residency, and her work was the subject of a 2011 Stvdio TV Artbreak

Her work has been included in recent group exhibitions at: Baer Art Centre
(Iceland); Redlands Art Gallery; Redcliffe Art Gallery; Griffith University Art
Gallery; Gatakers Artspace; Level ARI; and Metro Arts. She was a finalist in the
Churchie National Emerging Art Exhibition 2011 and was invited to
participate in this years Redlands Westpac 2012 Prize as an emerging artist.
She has just had her first sell-out commercial show on the Project Wall at the
James Dorahy Project Space. Lindsay’s paintings are held in private and
public collections in Australia, Canada, Iceland, UK, Switzerland, and the USA.



Mining Aramac from the Mining Galilee Series, 2013, Fiona MacDonald, photo courtesy of the artist

Fiona McDonald

Fiona MacDonald is known for her installations of bodies of work that draw
on local cultural traditions, social and natural history. Neglected archives
and personal collections, redolent of private meaning, decorative arts and
crafts such as weaving, collage, wallpaper and graphic arts are often source
for her work. Her installations take the form of ‘conversations’ about
undercurrents in social processes of inclusion and exclusion.

Her work has also been seen in major contemporary exhibitions such as the
Biennale of Sydney, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art and Australian
Perspecta. She has exhibited in Tokyo, Paris, London, Washington DC and New
York. She participated in the opening exhibition of the Jean-Marie Tjibaou
Cultural Centre in Noumea, New Caledonia.

Fiona writes:

My family has lived in Queensland for several generations so I am
acutely aware that I, like all Australians have in some way
benefited from the dispossession of the traditional owners. My work often
directly expresses this belief and attempts to reconcile the past with the
present by acknowledging this history.

The Bimblebox project offers an opportunity to stand on the country –
and consider the broad layers of history and patterns of human activity
that have overlayed nature while questioning what the future holds.


Jaw-war tet-tweer (detail), 2013, Samara McIlroy.

Samara McIlroy

Samara McIlroy, a recent UTAS BFA (Sculpture) graduate, has commenced her
long-awaited, stellar career as a contemporary artist. She chooses to locate
her practice in the zone currently categorised as socially-engaged or live art.
[read with tongue-in-cheek] She would love to eventually get a show at Gertrude
Contemporary Art Space, maybe even PICA, and will one day attend the Open Engagement
Conference in Portland Oregon.

Samara was unable to travel to Bimblebox herself, but she sent a camera to
view what she could not physically experience.

[Not] At Bimblebox

Using an existing location (in this case, Bimblebox), publicly available
internet content, other’s images and texts generated for the project, popular
social media platforms and performative strategies, I will construct a dialogue
or form of engagement that veers from the physical to the virtual and back
again. Using coverage of the controversy surrounding Waratah Coal’s mining
proposal as a starting point, the artist is acting as a data miner/curator.
Online content (images, sound, video, text) as well as that generated by
Bimblebox artists in September 2012 will be incorporated into the final work,
which will be presented as a ‘live art’ experience.

Surfing the internet, mining the rich mother-lodes of information that are
deposited in dispersed locations, my work often begins from the solid object,
then takes a conceptual journey via the written word, digital images and online
social media platforms back into the realm of the physical again. For this
project, I’m interested in what kind of responses an armchair traveller would
have to the idea of Bimblebox (which to them will only ever be a conceptual



The Invisible That Is, 2012, Liz Mahood

Liz Mahood

I grew up in Central Queensland in the bush and feel a deep obligation to
attempt to maintain the integrity of the landscape. I see the land being
allowed to stay with it’s topsoil intact and the grass growing as being more
important to our long term quality of life than ripping it up and turning it
upside down to satisfy foreign companies profit sheets.

I feel art has a role to play in the reconnecting of people with respect for
the land and celebration of its power while reminding people of the potential
damage we are risking by allowing the curent mining expansion. Earlier this
year I provided a platform for artists to make a statement about the challenges
facing rural Australia at the National Beef Expo in Rockhampton. I was thrilled
to have seventeen artists come and create some amazing paintings.

At Bimblebox:

I plan to sit in the landscape…to feel the energy. To take in the essence
of the land… the imprint of surface… the spaces in between… the shapes of
the landforms, the colours, the aromas… and develop these into images that
speak of the persistence, the joy and the promise of the process of
establishing the Bimblebox Nature Refuge. I aim to express the consideration
and the respect shown for this land by those committed to her survival.



Bimblebox Sky Map 3, 2013 ,Glenda Orr, photo Carl Warner

Glenda Orr

Glenda Orr is a practicing artist whose artwork predominantly engages with
topical environmental issues based on her own history as scientist, natural
resource policy analyst and activist. In 2007, Griffith University awarded Glenda
the University Medal and a First Class Honours degree in Fine Arts in 2007.
Subsequently she has been a tutor in Art Theory at the Queensland College of
Art. She has shown across Australia (first solo, AXIT in Brisbane in 2007) and
internationally (including Hong Kong, Paris, Shanghai, Tokyo, Toronto, Warsaw).
Notable awards include the Inaugural Port Jackson Press Australia Graduate
Printmaking Award in 2008 and the Friends of the Tweed River Acquisitive Print
Award at the CPM National Print Awards 2009. Glenda is a founding and committee
member of Impress Printmakers Brisbane Inc, and a Queensland representative on
the Print Council of Australia. Her works are in numerous private & public
collections such as the Federal Parliament, National Gallery of Australia,
Queensland State Library, Tweed River Gallery, Redcliffe City Gallery, Artspace
Mackay, James Cook & Griffith Universities, Mater and Royal Brisbane
Womens’ Hospitals and Port Jackson Press Australia.

At Bimblebox:

My artwork responds to both the micro and the macro structure of the
landscape at Bimblebox and explores a range of constructs of landscape that
inform particular perspectives of its value. This involved, firstly, examining
the traditional western view of landscape, looking broadly focussing on a
cross-sectional perspective, with fore, middle and distance ground to the
horizon. However, I also enjoyed looking at the landscape from more novel
aspects such as the microcosm from below and above.

As a printmaker I like to work in layers, combining different images in a
form of collage to disrupt the normative view of landscape. I envisage using a
combination of found objects from Bimblebox as well as drawings and photographs
created on site to feed into a set of print-based artworks.



The Great Divide, 2013, Michael Pospischil.

Michael Pospischil

I am a regional Queensland artist working largely in landscape and
portraiture, committed mainly to the joys of charcoal and oil paint. My work is
grounded in the immediacy and speed of plein air drawing and the chromatic
interplay of multiple layers of transparent oil paint. My goal is to transmit
the emotion of my meditation on the subject as directly as possible to the
viewer, unaccompanied by any distracting intellectualisation.

On Bimblebox:

I drove 1100km to get to Bimblebox, and the resulting distance from my
familiar surrounds was, as usual, a great way to shift my perceptions. I
revelled in the opportunity to dedicate so many days to art and immerse myself
in a new environment.

As expected, the Western sunlight was crisp and unrelenting and the
countryside was dry and dusty. The wildlife was vigorous and varied and the
natives (Paola, Ian and Karl) very friendly. I was struck by their stoicism and
industry. The other artists intrigued with the variety of their practices and
inspired each other to create.

I wasn’t interested just in the beauty of Bimblebox, I wanted to explore as
many facets as I could.  I seek out variety and complexity. Hence I
attempted portraiture, landscape (natural and industrial), figure in the
landscape, and nocturnes. All drawings were “en plein air” and from life,
executed with as much speed as possible, using charcoal of my own making.

I took my oil paints with me, but didn’t use them out there. I was more
interested in experiencing the place and reacting to it than becoming absorbed
in a lengthy internal dialogue with paint. I saved the paint until I got home,
spending several weeks in the studio, applying glaze on glaze (over the
charcoal drawings) until the job was done.


Shroud for an ancient basin, 2013, Jude Roberts. photo Carl Warner.

Jude Roberts

Jude Roberts’ studio practice encompasses large-scale
drawings, lithographs and mixed media
works on paper.  Drawing and documenting on water sites through
inland Australia has allowed the artist to investigate issues such as
groundwater on the Great Artesian Basin. This has enabled her to observe the
shifts, changes and human relationships to land, in particular its will to
control these environments.

Jude lived for many years on a pastoral property in south west Queensland
before residing in Brisbane where she is currently enrolled in a 
doctorate of Fine Arts at Griffith University.


My work employs various forms of drawing and print media both simultaneously
open to factors of chance and improvisation. Found objects are used as tools in
frottage, monoprinting and stenciling and with materials such as tusche,
natural sediments, gouache, graphite and charcoal. Marks made unintentionally
of the land itself, and the intentional interpretative markings made back in
the studio form a collaboration between the land and artist.

The processes for my art making has evolved from the physical sites that I
work .  I have documented different areas of the  Great Artesian
Basin and in the case of Bimblebox Nature Reserve, the Galilee Basin. This
has  allowed me to  capture  stains, impressions and materials
found in the earth and water. These landscapes are constantly imprinted on by
human use and changes in the earth.  I see the skin of the earth as a
floor for human and geological activity, but also a ceiling for the Basin and
other natural and physical phenomena.  This layer is always shifting
and  in constant tension particularly now with new challenges facing the
earth with human  forces accelerating the changes.

Being on these areas has prompted me to question human concepts of time in
relation to the geology and history . These  intangible qualities of the
real and imagined themes in my work are experimented with using various print
making processess. Papers, particularly that of the lighter Japanese variety
can be manipulated to cover objects in the landscape such as steel equipment
and netting fences. Use of frottage over holes and forms are imprinted  by
rubbing crayons and other materials onto their surfaces.  Laying paper
over burnings with smoke, ash and coals has also been another way to capture
these elements.

In addition to these processes the works on paper  have drawing and
monoprinting aspects. The natural sediments used on the plates transfer onto
the paper in an irregular fashion and with each press run, some sediment areas
are taken away, others  form layers like an accretion of the earths

In summary, my art making approach mimics processes used by natural or
human made interventions of land.



All Souls Day (Tree), 2009, Luke Roberts, photo courtesy of the artist.

Luke Roberts
represented by Milani Gallery


Life is Art, but is Art Life? This has been a central question for me. I’ve
devoted my life to my art practice and used performance art as a central way of
voicing my concerns. Am I deluded in thinking Art can make a difference; a
social and religious difference? I wanted to change the world, to make it a
better place to be in, a better place than the one I grew up in with its low
consciousness, discriminations and materialism. Self-portraiture has been a
means by which I could bring clearer focus to my determination to be ‘visible’.
“I am photographed, therefore I am.” My dreams and aspirations come alive
within the chamber of the camera and I can blossom as a creation within its
gaze or stare death in the face.

I have been fortunate to have accomplished some of my childhood dreams and
confront some of its nightmares. I have travelled the wider world to research
and investigate its mysteries. In 1996-97 I was the Australian Fellow at PS1
MoMA, New York, as well as the Australian Scholar at the British School at Rome
(2012). During the 1980s I lived in Europe. My history includes being an
Australian representative at the 2nd Asia-Pacific Triennial (1996)
and the Biennale of Sydney (2002).



Mending the Future, 2013, Jill Sampson, photo Carl Warner.

Jill Sampson

My art is informed by my family history, my reading of indigenous and colonial Australian history and my own experience and knowledge of the land and the natural environment. 

In Australia we have a culture of forgetting – I want to challenge this culture with my art.

My time on Bimblebox has been a precious gift where I was able to experience a place rare and endangered while attempting to capture something of its nature in my artwork. While on Bimblebox I explored its vegetation, land-shapes, tracks, soils, seeds and grasses. I continue to think about its past and its future. I collected seeds, leaves and objects for reference and to develop sculptural pieces back in the studio. I collected plant materials and explored their dye qualities on recycled fabrics from Australia’s manufacturing past and new fabrics from China’s manufacturing present. I have sewn these together…

Through making work that incorporates elements of Bimblebox Nature Refuge and considering its possible fate, I am exploring historical references to the land and what is offered or received for a piece of land. The ability of one person to see the land as providing everything that is needed to survive physically, culturally, and emotionally, to another who sees the land as expendable – for profit at any cost. Through plants and blankets I am looking for a way to understand where the past fits into the present and how history contains stories and lessons that few are listening to.


Bimblebox Art Project – What’s yours is my coal mine (de, 2013, The Hunter Bros aka Gerald Soworka, photo Tabitha Hobbins.

Gerald Soworka

Gerald’s art work has always explored the political from a very personal and
philosophical perspective. More recently there has been a growing, outreaching
to the social and environmental influences in both his work and personal life.
After years of limited capacity from chronic back pain and the full time
relocation to North Queensland he has been able to become more involved in the
political life of NQ.
He is on the board of the North Queensland Conservation Council and actively
involved in renewable energy and anti fossil fuel campaigns nationally and

At Bimblebox:
The Bimblebox Art Project offers me the opportunity to extend the conceptual basis
of my work into the interrelation of people with the environment. My work has
previously focused on ways of being in the world but from a mostly
introspective and philosophical perspective. This project and body of work will
focus on the outward manifestation of our ways of being through the direct
contrast of conservation and deep ecological values with coal mining and
I am looking to compare and contrast the landscapes and peoples’ approaches to
land and land use and their indications for the future.


Reconfigured Landscape no. 1, no. 2, no. 3, 2013, Shayna Wells, detail from photo by Carl Warner

Shayna Wells

My photographs are about reframing the landscape. I’m interested in
exploring our environment and what informs our visual vocabulary based on our
direct experience. The concentration of tension that exists between the now and
the becoming, to merge with the viewer into the afterwards.

The camera renders as a metaphor for the process of memory.

The process of the work is about relating the first experience of a place, a
specific point in time to the way that experience is recorded, interpreted and
represented into a new form. This process hopefully opens up the dialog for
reassessing our first hand experience in the present time and to question what
we interpret our environments to be.

On Bimblebox:

My approach to working at the site at Bimblebox was to try to go without any
expectation of an outcome from the site, to rather let the site speak for
itself. I went prepared with a vary of materials:  writing, drawing and
painting media and the camera with mirrors. I found that the journey to
Bimblebox become just as important as being at the site. The contrast made it
all the more important to create a work that spoke about the beauty and subtly
of the site.

After the second day I felt like I had a breakthrough, after many hours
sitting drawing and familiarising myself with the area around the campsite. The
sun was setting and I had about an hour left to work before nightfall. I set up
the mirrors on the desk I was working at and pointed it towards the sunset
through the cluster of Yellow Jackets and Bimblebox trees. It was in that
moment that seemed to encapsulate the experience of Bimblebox. It captured the
transitory nature of each day changing the landscape slowly and this forever
constant presence that seemed to exist.