The Margaret River Region Open Studios offers visitors to the region the opportunity to meet artists in their private studios, which are opened to the public over a 16-day period from September 11- 26. The intimate setting creates the perfect occasion for artists to share their stories and appreciation for their art form. Visitors can also watch each artist in action as they create their works. From a Day of the Dead inspired gallery to a bush block studio complete with weeping mulberry trees, we’ve taken a look into the studios with the most unique character at this year’s Open Studios series.
Vanessa Miller – Day of the Dead & Psychedelia
Vanessa Miller’s paintings and drawings are inspired by Mexican folk art and the Day of the Dead, a Mexican celebration honouring ancestors with beautiful foods, flowers and tequila. It is the juxtaposition of deathly objects with bright cartoon colours and the portrayal of a happy afterlife, characteristic of Day of the Dead culture, that Vanessa finds most captivating. She pairs this cultural fascination with a love for 60s and 70s psychedelia and ‘mind manifesting’.
Her Cowaramup studio reflects her passions and is decorated in bright colours with cultural iconography covering the walls. The explosion of colour extends into her garden which she has filled with many different types of blooms as she finds flowers in their many forms and colours another inspiration for her art.
Visitors to Vanessa’s studio can expect vibrancy, colour and music, making this studio a must-see stop on your Open Studios tour.
Bill Meiklejohn – Willyabrup Dreaming
Willyabrup Dreaming, owned by potter Bill Meiklejohn, is a studio and gallery located down a road less travelled and hidden amongst WA wildflowers. Built by Bill himself, the studio and gallery are crafted from locally sourced ironstone and timber with beautiful leadlight windows designed by a local artist. An advocate of the natural world, Bill also takes a great deal of pride in his garden.
Having spent a lifetime by the ocean, Bill has developed a love of nature, which strongly influences his pottery. Visitors to the studio will be met with beautiful bushland and Bill’s zany humour, and he is always ready to talk about his labour of love to create his home studio as a place of artistic endeavour.
Rebecca Cool & Ross Miller – Colourful Studio Home
Artists Rebecca Cool and Ross Miller live in a bright, colourful home studio on the edge of the Blackwood State Forrest. Their studio is as vibrant as the sculptures and paintings created by Rebecca herself. The outside of the studio is covered in bold murals depicting natures scenes and skyscapes.
The colour doesn’t stop inside the studio with art displayed across walls and suspended from the ceiling. Experience this bold display of colour and brighten your day with a visit to Rebecca and Ross’ studio.
Jacqui Brown – Bush Block Home Studio and Garden
A state surfer in her teens, Jacqui Brown has been a Margaret River local since the early 80s and has spent the last 40 years painting in the area. She works reclusively in her Margaret River studio surrounded by a garden she has cultivated herself complete with weeping mulberries, a ‘guinea pig hobbit village’, cat run and aviary, dragon pond waterfall and of course a lawn perfect for enjoying cups of tea.
Jacqui loves jumping on her electric bike and traversing the bushland to her favourite surf beach as she gets extremely restless when the wind is offshore and the surf is pumping. Her love for the sea can be seen in her surf scene depictions which she paints onto discarded surfboards as well as plyboard and canvas. Her focus is on seascapes and the forests and bushland of the region encompassing Margaret River and Yallingup.
Between her job as a cleaner at a local accommodation venue, maintaining her bush block home and garden, painting and surfing, Jacqui doesn’t have a lot of time for socialising. She is looking forward to opening her doors for the Open Studios to meet the public.
The Margaret River Region Open Studios is being held from September 11 – 26. For more information on the artists and works being showcased click here.
Galleries and artists in the Margaret River Region