MENTOR Jessie Mackintosh, of South Lismore, with young artist Corey Bruggy (12), of East Lismore, at the Lismore Regional Gallery’s DUO: Learning the Ropes mentoring program afternoon tea show and tell session at the Lismore Art Space located in Lismore.
MENTOR Jessie Mackintosh, of South Lismore, with young artist Corey Bruggy (12), of East Lismore, at the Lismore Regional Gallery’s DUO: Learning the Ropes mentoring program afternoon tea show and tell session at the Lismore Art Space located in Lismore. Marc Stapelberg

Kids and artists team up for new regional gallery project

THERE was a vibrant exchange of artistic energy between young and old at the weekend's unveiling of Lismore Regional Gallery's latest mentoring initiative.

The brainchild of the gallery's learning officer, Claudie Frock, the 'Duo' exhibition coming up at the end of the month will profile the combined efforts of local professional artists who have been aligned with young people to create combined works that fire the imagination.

The results have been as emotionally rewarding as they are graphically exciting.

Eleven year old St Carthage's student Katie Hunter worked with Northern Rivers print maker Christine Willcocks to create bold and colourful etchings of birds.

"I like to see how they print," said Katie of her work.

Christine, on the other hand, was most enamoured with how her student approached art.

"As adults we make a lot of judgements about the outcome," she explained.

"But I was amazed how Katie drew with no judgement, drawing straight onto the plate."

"And it's great to pass that enthusiasm on to a young person," she said.

Mentors Joanna Kambourian (back left), of Lismore, and Christine Willcocks (back right), of Byron Bay, with young artist Audrey Bush (11) (front right), of Lismore, and Katie Hunter (11), of Lismore, at the Lismore Regional Gallery's DUO: Learning the Ropes mentoring program afternoon tea Show and Tell session at the Lismore Art Space located in Lismore.
Mentors Joanna Kambourian (back left), of Lismore, and Christine Willcocks (back right), of Byron Bay, with young artist Audrey Bush (11) (front right), of Lismore, and Katie Hunter (11), of Lismore, at the Lismore Regional Gallery's DUO: Learning the Ropes mentoring program afternoon tea Show and Tell session at the Lismore Art Space located in Lismore. Marc Stapelberg

Budding talent

Screenprint artist Joanna Kambourian mentored Lismore school girl Audrey Bush and together the pair made fabulously bold fabric designs that started with very simple organic shapes.

"I think we have a budding fabric designer here," said Joanna during the unveiling at the Lismore Art Space in Norris Street, behind the base hospital.

In fact, unlike the other artist and student teams, this pair worked most of the time in that art space, creating an exhibition they have named 'neon-imaginary'.

"We both inspired each other," said Joanna of the experience.

The collaboration between Lismore artist Jesse Mackintosh and his student Corey Bruggy took a departure from the girls to concentrate on what boys like: Robots and zombies.

Being deaf, Corey communicated with Jesse through a sign language interpreter. But that didn't stop the pair creating a barrage of buttons featuring various graphic designs based on robots.

The pair's work also featured a techno suit of armour built from cardboard.

Documenting the whole show was student photographer Alby Moran of Bangalow and his mentor, studio photographer and sculptor Mick Moynihan.

Lismore Regional Gallery's DUO: Learning the Ropes mentoring program has an afternoon tea Show and Tell session at the Lismore Art Space located in Lismore.
Lismore Regional Gallery's DUO: Learning the Ropes mentoring program has an afternoon tea Show and Tell session at the Lismore Art Space located in Lismore. Marc Stapelberg

Alby has been taking photos since he was in kindergarten and to document Duo was an opportunity to grow his skills.

"I am learning tips, and tricks. How to get better lighting and to take better photos," he said of his experience.

Mentor Mick praised his student for his ability to evoke emotion through his work.

"He has a good feel for the moment," he said.

Throughout the process, all artists agreed that the reward was working with youth imaginations.

Michelle Dawson of Bangalow, who mentored the youngest student, Lucy Murray of Mullumbimby aged 7, said her enthusiasm was simply amazing to watch.

"She has actually mentored me," Christine said.

"It was an easy conversation - almost like it was between adults. The joy of play - I could do it all day."

Lismore Regional Gallery's DUO: Learning the Ropes mentoring program has an afternoon tea Show and Tell session at the Lismore Art Space located in Lismore.
Lismore Regional Gallery's DUO: Learning the Ropes mentoring program has an afternoon tea Show and Tell session at the Lismore Art Space located in Lismore. Marc Stapelberg

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