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Media Release - Creek… River… Ocean: David Paulson, Joanne Currie Nalingu & Samantha Hobson and Soakages: Group exhibition

Exhibition title/s:

Creek… River… Ocean: David Paulson, Joanne Currie Nalingu & Samantha Hobson and Soakages: Group exhibition

Exhibition duration: 

11 June 2024 to 20 July 2024


FireWorks Gallery, 9/31 Thompson St, Bowen Hills

Exhibition opening:

Saturday 15 June, 2 – 4pm

Media Contact:

Michael Eather


0418 192 845


Exhibition cost:


FireWorks Gallery’s upcoming exhibitions Creek… River… Ocean and Soakages showcase ‘water’ as it occurs through the diverse geographies of Australia. Soakages presents artists from the Central and Western Deserts. Upstairs, Creek… River… Ocean focuses on Queensland artists; David Paulson returning to his classic Maleny Creek oil paintings, Joanne Currie Nalingu investigating the river of her Outback Country (Maranoa) and Samantha Hobson expressing her connection to the oceanic reefs of Far North Queensland.

Soakages in the desert is a recurring narrative. For artists in remote areas of Central Australia, Rockholes and water catchments are often sacred places; their presence heralded in creation stories, songs, ceremonies, and now more recently in acrylic paintings.

Kintore artists Ester Bruno and Katherine Nakamarra adopt the depiction of water with swirling, concentric circles. It is imagery deeply embedded within their collective narrative symbolism and shared (mythical) stories of travels across vast landscapes to locate water; a story also told in a contemporary iteration by Rod Moss’s graphite illustration depicting the mundane chore of his friends, the Arrernte people (Alice Springs), collecting water from outlying areas.

Contrasting the warm desert tones on display in Soakages, Creek…River…Ocean is awash with cool blues and greens. This exhibition reveals the epic and ever constant flow of water from mountain to the sea. For all three artists on display, water has been a determining factor in the genesis of their consciousness as they explore universal themes of flow and the poetry of time and tide.

David Paulson observes Maleny Creek as a universe with the epic minutiae of life and wondrous forms spectacularly captured in oil paint with glimpses of leaves, rocks, sticks and the ever-running creek flow bouncing off dappled rainforest light.

Joanne Currie Nalingu grew up in the Mitchell Yumba on the Maranoa River. Her signature linear works position the river as a metaphor for life and change. The metaphoric and symbolic use of water continues in the work of Samantha Hobson who depicts the ocean as allegory for survival amidst the turbulence of life. Flag Waves introduces the sea as a symbol of cultural collision; referencing lurid bright colours of competing national identities amidst the turgid action of crashing waves.

Gallery Director Michael Eather comments, “It’s exciting to bring a diverse group of artists and styles together under banners that speak more of our unifying themes rather than our differences. With a blend of First Nations and other contemporary Australian artists these exhibitions champion these universal connections”.