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Art springs to life in exhibition

Catherine MasseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
Yallingup's Studio Gallery and Bistro is proud to celebrate Spring with an exhibition of new artworks from local artists Paula Wiegmink and Sue Smorthwaite.
Camera IconYallingup's Studio Gallery and Bistro is proud to celebrate Spring with an exhibition of new artworks from local artists Paula Wiegmink and Sue Smorthwaite. Credit: Liam McDonald/Liam McDonald

Yallingup’s Studio Gallery and Bistro on Saturday launched a gorgeous array of artwork by Capes artists in its new Spring exhibition.

The exhibition’s bright and airy collection boasts intricate fine art and funky felt creations to present a sophisticated and interesting display of artwork.

Dunsborough fine artist Paula Wiegmink has a passion for birds and still-life objects, which she cleverly used to create her colourful 11-piece collection for the display.

Artwork in her collection meshes together wildlife and still-life images — a feature that emerged after a scarlet-breasted robin landed nearby the studio gallery last year, inspiring Wiegmink to place the bird in her artwork.

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She said her collection was prepared in a short three-month period, but throughout the process she felt “extremely motivated and focused”. “This was a very satisfying collection to work on,” Wiegmink said.

“After months of lockdown, I hoped to weave a sense of spring — breathing life, hope and humour into my new collection of works.”

Complementing the gorgeous wildlife and still-life paintings, Yallingup felt artist Sue Smorthwaite’s funky creations are also on display in the studio.

Smorthwaite, who has been felting for eight years, said she began creating sculptural felt birds from the things she could see in her garden.

“It all began with the little blue wrens in my garden,” she said.

“I like the colours, the whimsical characters of the birds in the garden. I’m influenced by nature and what I can see around me, and I wanted to keep things local to our area. I didn’t want to sort of just do any type of bird.”

Smorthwaite said she recreated and reinvented felting for her modern audience by using contemporary techniques and colours.

“Felting is a very ancient craft. Over the last few years, it has had a resurgence like knitting and crocheting ... all these old crafts have had resurgence,” she said.

Smorthwaite and Wiegmink enjoyed a very busy weekend for the launch, with both artists selling most of the artwork in their collections. The exhibition also displays Melbourne-based artist Robyn Rankin’s artwork and will run until October 12.

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