ON SHOW NOW: Gladys O'Grady's Dusky Honeyeater.
ON SHOW NOW: Gladys O'Grady's Dusky Honeyeater.

WHAT'S ON: Events, exhibitions at Grafton gallery

GLADYS O'Grady's famous Honeyeater series from the gallery's collection is currently on show at the Old Kirk, Yamba Museum. These delightful watercolours have an incredible back story, as well as being magnificent paintings.

A keen ornithologist throughout her long life, Gladys O'Grady recorded and painted many species of birds, depicting their breeding and nesting habits, thereby providing a priceless record of birds, both indigenous to the North Coast of New South Wales, and of those whose migratory paths pass through the region.

In time, O'Grady's reputation as a bird artist grew within ornithological circles. Her detailed accuracy was recognised and appreciated by many. She was awarded Life Membership of the Gould League of Bird Lovers and was also a Life Member of the Clarence Valley Naturalists Club.

In 1957 Gladys was commissioned by Brigadier Hugh Officer, a well known ornithologist from Victoria, to paint a series of honeyeaters for a major publication. Gladys mailed the completed paintings to the Brigadier over a period of 20 years from the late 1930s. The book was published but, unfortunately, her paintings were not included.

Graham Jackson, an admirer of O'Grady's work, bought the series from Brigadier Hugh Officer. Through the efforts of Fran Hampshire, from the New School of Arts, the Honeyeater series was then acquired for the City of Grafton in 1987 through public subscription. The public was invited to support the cost of a painting by Gladys O'Grady in remembrance of a loved one and, subsequently, the sum of $5000 was raised.

Gladys O'Grady died on June 22, 1985, aged 91 years.

The Honeyeaters is on show until Sunday, September 29. The Old Kirk is at the Yamba Museum, River St, next to the golf course. Special edition prints of some Honeyeaters works are also available to buy alongside the exhibition.

Coming events in the gallery

Bendigo Bank Gate to Plate Long Lunch: Sunday, September 29, noon-4pm

Tickets are selling fast so don't miss out on The Gallery Foundation's Long Lunch, to be held at The Barn on September 29. This will be an unmatched foodie experience reflecting the true character of our food-producing region. Two of the Clarence Valley's most inspiring chefs, Zac Roberts of Karrikin and Charly Prétet of The French Pan Tree, have designed a meal to remember using the best produce the Clarence has to offer. This fundraising event, presented by The Gallery Foundation, is sponsored by Bendigo Bank, South Grafton Branch. Tickets are $165 a head, and available through Eventbrite. Booking are essential.

Gate to Plate Farmers' and Growers' Market: Sunday, September 29, 9am-2pm

As part of this year's Gate to Plate experience, The Gallery Foundation will hold a food market at the Grafton Showground. The foundation invites food producers from across the Clarence to gather in Grafton for a one-off Food, Farmers' and Growers' Market. The foundation is seeking vendors offering hot food, including freshly cooked breakfast and/or brunch, as well as local and/or organic produce for sale and sampling.

An alcohol licence will operate from 10am-2pm, allowing for tasting samples by applicable producers. Please note, vendors offering natural, locally grown, plastic-free products, as well as food served in compostable materials, are preferred. The market will also feature live music and children's activities in a mini-festival atmosphere. Register for stalls via Eventbrite bookings.

Masterclass Collage with Deborah Kelly: Saturday, October 4, noon-4pm

In this two-day workshop, nationally acclaimed artist Deborah Kelly from the Moving Histories exhibition will bring her private collection of obsolete images taken from abandoned art reference books, and guide participants through selecting, composing and producing wonderful collages. Readings, conversation and storytelling will provide inspiration.

At the end of this two-day workshop participants will take home a museum-quality collage artwork. All materials and light refreshments supplied. Suitable for all levels of experience, ages 12-plus. Tickets are $130, including materials and refreshments. Tickets available through the gallery's Eventbrite page.

Conversation with Conridge & Peardon: Saturday, October 5, 11am

Join Clarence Valley artists Stacey Conridge and Jenni Peardon in conversation with Rochelle Summerfield about their love of art and landscape. Their exhibition On Any Wednesday is currently on show in Prentice House. This event is free; bookings through the gallery's Eventbrite.

Art After Dark, Term 4: From Thursday, November 7, 6-8pm

Why not make your own unique Christmas decorations with Cassandra Lyn-Palmer this year? Have fun sipping wine and meeting new friends, while experiencing the therapeutic delight of creating with clay. Cassandra-Lyn Palmer will guide you through how to use slabs, moulds and coiling techniques to create your special festive decorations for your home. All decorations will be glazed, fired and ready to impress friends and relatives at Christmas time. The program includes four sessions on Thursday nights: November 7, 14, 21 and 28. Cost is $180 and FoGG $170. This includes all materials, firing and glazing, wine and cheese platters. Bookings through the gallery's Eventbrite page.

Out and About

Cowper Gallery and Studio

This spring, Cowper Gallery and Studio has a new exhibition featuring the work of Brisbane artists Kerrie Stonadge and Jenine Ryan.

You've Got a Hide showcases works on paper in graphite, pastel and charcoal.

Roxy Gallery

The Roxy Gallery in Kyogle has a new group exhibition, Birds of the Feather: Now and Then on display. The exhibition has recent works by established local women artists who have invited their creative family members to exhibit alongside them to showcase a line of succession in the creative arts areas. From older to younger, this exhibition will be a legacy. Open until October 6.


NAVA Artists Grant

The NSW Artists' Grant has been initiated by NAVA to assist professional visual and media arts, craft and design practitioners living in NSW to produce, present and promote their work throughout NSW, interstate and overseas. Closing October 20. For more information visit NAVA's website.

The Grafton Regional Gallery is a cultural service of the Clarence Valley Council. The gallery is located at 158 Fitzroy Street, Grafton, and is open daily from 10am to 4pm (public holidays may differ). Entry is by donation.