Located on the ground floor of the historic Brisbane Arcade, The Sheil Collection stocks an eclectic selection of high quality art ware. All the items are authentically Australian, including the multicoloured, patterned carpet designed by local artist Bruce Reynolds.
Ann Heathcote, owner of the 23-year old outlet and keen supporter of Australian artists, describes the shop as "neither a gallery nor a souvenir shop." It is an intimate, classy, welcoming combination of both, housing a select assortment of finely crafted, uniquely Australian pieces.
Carefully displayed on glass and mirrored shelving, wares on offer include finely detailed bronzes, glass art, anodised metal alloy items, bird art and recycled macadamia nut vessels as well as stylish wooden birds, ceramics, cards and finely carved coasters fashioned from indigenous woods.
Made from metal alloys, the signature silver hand-crafted table items devised by artist / silver smith Don Sheil are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Beautifully etched with Australian designs depicting the flowering gum and the Cooktown orchid, there is also a range featuring designs by Indigenous Australian artist Marsha Hall. Originally from the Weipa region, Ms Hall's traditional illustrations depict native wildlife she is familiar with – a frog, a brolga, a crocodile and a crab.
Magic carpet inviting entry to The Sheil Collection
Eye-catching too are the vivid coloured glazes lining the distinctive shapes of Husque's recycled macadamia nut vessels. Acid green, cherry red, sulphur yellow and burnished orange are a few of the bright colours adorning the polished insides of the bowls. The exterior of the bowls are hand-rubbed with macadamia oil. The award-winning, innovative products are designed by Marc Harrison and made in Brisbane.
Reflecting a love of nature, the bronze sculptures produced by Pete and Louise Smit of Cobblecast are deftly detailed. On display in the shop window is a character-full, gnarled and polished piece of wood which supports a delightful collection of well-known Australian animals - koalas, wombats and echidna. An original, clay model is first carved and the bronzes are then produced using the age-old "lost wax" method of casting at the Smits' foundry in Samsonvale.
On show are original, easily portable 18 x 12 acrylic-on-canvas portraits of indigenous birds and chooks by local artist Bela. The artist reputedly 'likes feathers' and the simple portraits of birds like the colourful galah and the sharp-billed, beady-eyed magpie are true to life.
Other birds on show are the stylish, wooden creations produced by South African born artist Andre Vanne, founder of the internationally famous 'Feathers' studios/galleries. The birds are part of the Wozo collection and are 'light –hearted caricatures of real birds and some purely fantastical', borne out of the artists experience at capturing the particular 'gis' of specific birds in his carvings.
So, with many more articles on offer, if you are looking for a finely crafted, authentically Australian gift that does not come with a "Made in China" label, factor in a trip to the Brisbane arcade next time you are in town and check out The Sheil Collection.