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Santuary: A Year At Mulligans Flat Art Exhibition


Sat 30 Jun 2018, 4:00pm–6:00pm

Where: Strathnairn Arts, 90 Stockdill Drive, Holt, ACT

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free
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Listed by: e639

‘Sanctuary: A Year at Mulligans Flat’ is an exhibition of paintings of the unique and vulnerable creatures who call Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary home, by emerging Canberran artist Emily Birks.

Strathnairn Arts is open from 10am to 4pm, Thursday to Sunday. The official opening will be held on Saturday the 30th June at 4pm, with guest speaker Dr Kate Grarock, Sanctuary Ambassador, Superstar of STEM and Ecologist at Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary in Canberra.

Emily is inspired by the magnificence, uniqueness and personality of Australia’s wildlife. She uses ink or oil pastel to express the colour, pattern, and texture of fur and feathers while focusing on the animal itself. Emily's aim is to create highly detailed portraits showing the beauty and character of each subject. Her close connection to native wildlife through animal rescue and encounters as a wildlife carer have given her a desire to share with the viewer how lucky we are to live in Australia with these remarkable creatures.

Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary is a nature reserve in the north of Canberra that is restoring wildlife long-ago made extinct from the area by predators and land-clearing. Over the past year, Emily was given the opportunity to be an artist-in-residence with Mulligans Flat. The year-long time frame allowed her to examine the changes in the Sanctuary’s wildlife over the seasons, the reintroduction of species, hibernation, migration and reproduction. The portraits focus on the particularly vulnerable animals that find sanctuary at Mulligans Flat.

A series of oil pastels illustrates the nocturnal reintroduced animals—bettongs, curlews and quolls. She has also created a body of work in ink exploring the animals that rely particularly on the box gum grassy woodland, such as superb parrots, scarlet robins and sun moths. The large dam in the Sanctuary is a haven for water birds not commonly found in other areas of Canberra. Emily was particularly taken with several of the species that find a home on the dam and painted these in a mini-series.

Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary is a special place, with scientists undertaking important research into the conservation of species. Emily feels that scientific research and wildlife art are two sides of the same coin, interpreting the natural world in order that it can be shared with others. This exhibition is for everyone who loves living in the ‘Bush Capital’. It is for those who love animals, art and science. It is for those who have an interest in the nationally-important conservation work being done in our own ‘backyard’.