Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published May 5th 2014
For Quality Art, go no further than Alpha31 Art Gallery
Over the last few years newcomers are making Maryborough Queensland their home and others returning to their roots desiring a more leisurely lifestyle. The fact that Maryborough is only 30 minutes from Hervey Bay, and that Fraser Island is only a boat ride from there, makes Maryborough a very popular destination.
Only 10 minutes from the CBD at 31 Alpha Plantation Road Tinana, I found Alpha31 Art Gallery & Sculpture Garden. Sisters Inge & Monica Bayer have created the most unique gallery displaying art created by award winning artists in a variety of mediums. Oil, acrylic, mixed media, watercolours and pastels are used.
Hand crafted lead lighting and sculptures of all sizes in limestone, hebel stone and sandstone are positioned inside and outside the gallery. Monica is currently working on a large outside chess set and it certainly captured my interest as I would like to learn how to play the game.
Weekend or week-long sculpture classes or stone carving are provided throughout the year with beginners most welcome. Monica showed me photographs of sculptures that beginners had created under her guidance, mostly from people who had no previous art experience and I learned that a sculptured piece did not have to be any defined object but what flowed from deep within our mind's desire. I couldn't wait to give her my details for the next available weekend class.
Handcrafted by Inge, each leadlight piece is unique and Inge is more than happy to create an item from your own design.
The walls inside the gallery are lined with various artists' paintings; however the one that caught my interest the most was what I first thought was a yacht sailing in an immensely coloured blue and aqua ocean. Looking more closely into the depth of the painting, it is obvious that Monica has captured our ocean's creatures in the swirl of the water in a very clever three-dimensional way that as my eyes studied the canvas, more fish appeared.
Another unusual creation by Monica was the use of palm foliage in the creation of a mask. Several of these hung inside the large eco-friendly toilet which had a purpose-built blackboard and chalk for you to offer comment. When the blackboard is full a photograph is taken, and laminated to be hung on the wall.
The blackboard is then wiped clean for the next lot of comments. Alpina the Dragon, Guardian of Alpha31 is a massive tiled dragon sitting right outside the toilet door.
The combined talent from Monica and Inge at Alpha31 Art Gallery certainly makes me realise that we are only limited by what we cannot imagine and that anything can be created.
Maryborough is very lucky to have these talented sisters residing in the town and through their creativity and willingness to share their expertise to the benefit of many students and other artists alike, Maryborough is basking in a surge of artistic pursuits.
Entry to the Gallery is free and Monica and Inge are more than happy to give you a guided tour.