June 5th 2012
Colourful Co-op calls for collaborators
There is a small shop at Picnic Bay where colours, shapes and exuberant forms leap out beneath the majestic branches of the mall’s banyan trees. It is the Magnetic Island Art’s Space and the small group who share it and keep the life and colour open seven days a week are not only keen to attract extra customers for Magnetic Island produced art and craft, but also extra artists to join them.
The Art Space which is also a co-operative is presently run by five artists including silk artist Helene Rankin, photographers, Mary-Anne Law and Lindy King, textile artist Barbara Kinsey and landscape painter Wendy MacDonald.
One of the artists will be present at the shop when you visit and it’s likely they will be also busy making something too. Within its walls visitors will find luscious rainforest paintings by Wendy, scenic Island photos by MaryAnne stretched over canvas, more great Island views by Lindy, vivid silk and Helene’s hand-painted and sparkling porcelain, and her crystal light catchers - which have to be seen activated by sunlight. There’s lots more including Barbara’s curious and astonishingly well made puzzles - a type of soft Rubric’s cube made from beautiful Japanese-style textiles.
And, while the store is full of art and arty objects made by Island artists, the call is out for more creators to come and join the crew. The group has been larger in the past but through people moving off the Island, work commitments and, in some cases, illness, the group is smaller and looking to regenerate.
“Anyone who wants to join is welcome,” says Helene.
At present the core group have been sharing the rent and a roster covering the opening hours and would clearly like to spread the load.
Meetings are held monthly with each member having an equal vote. “We are completely democratic.” said Helene.
So if you are an artist looking for an outlet, a supportive environment and colleagues to bounce your ideas off, then this may be what you’ve been looking for.
And if you are a local or a visitor looking for a genuine Magnetic Island-made gift then the Art Space under the banyans at Picnic Bay is definitely a first port of call.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Magnetic Island Art Space call Helene on 47581730.
Story and photo: George Hirst
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