A celebration of local artists, Local Now at the Ipswich Art Gallery showcases some of the more interesting work being made in Ipswich and the surrounding regions.

The exhibition is a survey of eight local artists work and captures the depth and diversity of artists working in the region.

Arts, Community and Cultural Services Committee Chairperson Councillor Charlie Pisasale said Local Now raises awareness of the numerous talented artists creating work across Ipswich and surrounding areas of Somerset and the Scenic Rim.

“These are eight prominent artists that live and work right here in our community. Local Now is an opportunity to celebrate the creative talent in our region.

“Artists that are making interesting work deserve this recognition in our community and beyond.

“This is not the first time the Ipswich Art Gallery has shown local artists, but this is the first group exhibition surveying practice across the region. The plan is to be able to showcase local talent through Local Now every two years, and this is a fantastic start.”

Some artists have always lived in and around Ipswich, some were attracted to the beautiful natural environment, and others because it is an affordable place to live. Local Now gives them the opportunity to show their work in the largest and most visited regional gallery in Australia and to highlight the diversity and innovation that can happen outside of the major cities.

The exhibition will feature paintings by Gary Abkin, Merton Chambers and Sharon Harper-Greentree, Mieke Den Otter’s textile art, Alinta Krauth multimedia installations, Kate Roberts’ jewellery, Christopher Trotter’s sculpture and photo-based artwork by LeAnne Vincent.

The people and places around artists always influence what they produce. For some artists, their work in Local Now will give an insight into how they think about the place where they live.

Making work about the places you know best is what Ipswich artist LeAnne Vincent  promotes to other artists, and is the starting point for much of her work.

“I often look to the local community when creating a new body of work. While for this exhibition I’ve highlighted the diversity of birds in Queensland, and how they’ve been affected by urban development, by using many images captured in the Ipswich region,” she says.

“I exhibit widely and like to take my work outside of the Ipswich region. I often promote Ipswich when I travel and my work helps to do that.

“It’s very important to be exhibiting this work locally. It’s a great opportunity for emerging and established local artists to gain access to a wider audience at the Ipswich Art Gallery and for Ipswich to promote the talent that we have here.”

Artist Sharon Harper-Greentree says her work is very much focused on her local area near Marburg, “Black Snake Creek in the area near where I live is a fairly major part of the visual aspect of the town. Depending on the season, the creek is just a few billabongs and at other times it can be a raging flood. But always it is a focus on the health and condition of the local environment.

“My work traces the creek’s pathway from its source to the Brisbane River. It shows the beauty of that environment and addresses some issues of land care. I want get across the idea of the fragility of the creek’s environs along with the power of seasonal changes.”

Alinta Krauth’s multimedia work has been specifically created for Local Now.

“I’ve lived in and around the scenic rim my entire life and I’m inspired by being around there. The environment and nature is a recurring theme in my work,” she says.

“I’m excited about being a part of Local Now and having local people experience my work, which may be a new type of work to them. I’m hoping to show that multimedia art is not outside of the reach of rural artists.”

For other artists, the influence of the region is less obvious and more subtle. But all of them are passionate and proud about where they live.

Local Now is on at the Ipswich Art Gallery from 19 September to 27 November. The Ipswich Art Gallery is open daily from 10am to 5pm and is located in d’Arcy Doyle Place between Limestone and Brisbane Streets, Ipswich. Entry is free.