By Jacqueline Trewin
Noosa MP Sandy Bolton will open a group exhibition at Max Galleria to celebrate its first birthday featuring works from 12 Sunshine Coast artists.
Entitled Rainbow Planet, the much-anticipated launch will take place in Tewantin on Friday 20 May from 6pm to 9pm with the exhibition running until Saturday 11 June.
Inspired by gallery curator Maxine Stibbe, a finalist in the national Lyn McRea Contemporary Drawing Prize 2021, the vibrant artworks reflect the theme of all things rainbow at a time of geopolitical unrest.
“I chose the theme after realising that the happiness created from rainbows from children to elders was a beautiful symbolic gesture in times of war and recessions worldwide,” Ms Stibbe said.
“I feel in times of uncertainty rainbows are a sign of hope, luck and happiness.. simple joy of light arced in the sky, adored worldwide for its simplicity and beauty.”
But celebrating the rainbow of multiculturalism with polyculturalism also adds meaningful colour to this collective, inviting viewers with the perspective of embracing a common humanity, which resonates with Ms Stibbe.
“This exhibition is a reference to the polycultural, multicultural genetics of the Australian population. We are a rainbow-blooded people,” Ms Stibbe said.
“I grew up in a very multicultural town in West End, Brisbane, and when moving to the Noosa Shire I found gorgeous pockets of rainbow-coloured diversity and inclusivity,” Ms Stibbe said.
“My genetic ancestry has Celtic and Hebrew roots. The art gallery beside me has an Irish-Indigenous Australian. My landlord is German-Australian. I have Maori, Polish and many other peoples from various ancestries exhibit at Max Galleria.
“Two shops up there’s the beauty salon with staff of Vietnamese origin. The cafe beside me has a New Zealander, and a chef who’s originally from the Philippines. There’s a genetically diverse group of people in the one spot.
“And of course, the rainbow is also a reference to our fabulous LGBTQIA+ community in the Noosa Shire. So, I believe we really represent the local population like a rainbow,” Ms Stibbe said.
Drawing parallels between ancient stories with contemporary dialogue, Ms Stibbe reflected on the mythological representation of this natural phenomena, which plays a significant role in traditional folklore.
“Most cultures love rainbows, having similar mythology. For instance, the Rainbow Serpent of our Australian Traditional Custodians and Quezatacotal, the feathered serpent deity of the Aztecs. Also, the Norse had Bifrost, a rainbow bridge, as do the Japanese with the Floating Bridge of Heaven,” Ms Stibbe said.
“Buddists believe the rainbow is the highest state achievable before Nirvana. Iris the Rainbow goddess in Greek Mythology linked the gods with humanity between heaven and earth. Then there’s the Irish legend about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and the Chinese Rainbow Dragons.
“Symbolism is powerful, and the intent of this exhibition is to recognise we are all human regardless of our ideologies, theories, races or genders.”
Contributing artist Jane Parker said she looked forward to presenting her work at the exhibition where there was the unique opportunity to collaborate with local artists.
“I’m really excited about this exhibition and grateful that Maxine has this gallery as a community-orientated space for local artists. It’s a venue where people can share views and feel free to exhibit their work. There aren’t very many art galleries like that on the Sunshine Coast at all,” Ms Parker said.
“My work is mainly based in dreams. I see a theme and it’ll be in a dream. The rainbow theme to me is an inclusive, positive theme which incorporates all different elements in harmony with various colours. It can also incorporate many different interpretations.
“I know with this exhibition there’s a huge range of ideas about rainbows that invites a lot of different ideas about the world,” Ms Parker said.
Rainbow Planet will be exhibiting painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, ceramic, prints and aerosol from renowned local artists, including: Maxine Stibbe, Jane Parker, Denva Estreich/Djinda (Kabi Kabi/Wakka Wakka), Susan Neuvonen, Alison Taylor, Dominique Wood, Matt Bushell, Tracey Mills/ Jingiwalla,(Bundgalung/Maori), Mia Hacker, Angela Davies, Kennedy Webb and Laurie Brown.
Community-focused Ms Stibbe was thrilled to support this colourful art collective in the local community.
“I’m very proud to be representing a local Indigenous Kabi Kabi artist Denva Estreich/Djinda whose work is exquisite, gentle and timeless. Dominique Wood has superb, layered Klimt-like mixed-media works. Mia Hacker has hauntingly beautiful, dark, and emotive large-scale digital photography.
“We also have Angela Davies presenting a huge mixed media works made from stamps. Kennedy Webb has got the most amazingly intricate, geometric drawing in print form. And there’s some stunning photography of the local area by Laurie Brown.
“So, this exhibition has some extraordinary pieces from diverse artists to lift everyone’s spirits,” Ms Stibbe said.
Max Galleria is a growing community arts hub of local artists on the Sunshine Coast, with 100 per cent tax deductible art available to ABN holders.
For further information phone 0414 725 424 or log onto facebook.com/max.galleria/