Judy Oakenful and Julia Hancockl display their artwork, ahead of the Art Trails Botanicus Exhibition.
Judy Oakenful and Julia Hancockl display their artwork, ahead of the Art Trails Botanicus Exhibition. Scott Davis

Garden gates open for Art Trail

IN THE words of Andy Warhol, having a nurtured patch of land is the most valuable form of art.

This philosophy is made clear with the Botanicus exhibition and open garden, which forms part of the Murwillumbah Art Trail next weekend.

Artist Julie Hancock looked forward to being involved with the Art Trail in its second year.

“I’m really excited to be a part of it for the first time and it was a great honour to be asked,” Ms Hancock said.

She said the nine-strong Botanicus artists, whose work would be on display in Murwillumbah’s Main St tattoo shop, were united by their natural themes.

Her stunning, edible garden will be simultaneously open to the public next Sunday.

“The main theme of the this year’s art trail is ‘seeds’ of art,” she said.

This takes on a very literal meaning as Ms Hancock has been supplying seeds to the Murwillumbah Seed Bank from her “sustainability st” home.

“Because we’ve just opened a seed bank at the library, I wanted to give people the opportunity to see where those seeds have come from,” Ms Hancock said.

“I do this because I love growing plants by seed , because it means free food.

Julia Hancock, Judy Stanhope, Heather Matthew, Di Smith and Judy Oakenfull display their artwork, ahead of the Art Trails Botanicus Exhibition.
Julia Hancock, Judy Stanhope, Heather Matthew, Di Smith and Judy Oakenfull display their artwork, ahead of the Art Trails Botanicus Exhibition. Scott Davis

“I live on ‘sustainability street’ and I love to encourage other people to grow their own vegetables.”

Fellow Botanicus artist Heather Matthew said the Art Trail, which flows into many vacant retail spaces in the heart of Murwillumbah, had injected crucial activity into the region from its inaugural event last year.

She hoped this year’s Art Trail would spark further interest among the Tweed Valley’s many creatives and help to build on the growing creative industries in the town as small-scale galleries and art spaces like Sugarmill Studios and Yellow Brick Studio bring fresh hope to the local economy.

“Just being part of it last year... some of the vacant shops in Murwillumbah have got tenants in them now,” Ms Matthew said.

“Last year was very successful and they’re building on that.”

The six-day Murwillumbah Art Trail will run from May 26 to 31 and showcase more than 60 established and emerging artists from around the Tweed Valley.

Each exhibition and event will display a particular artist or artistic theme in empty shops, studios and in the streets.

For more information about the locations of the Art Trail, workshops or to view a map of each exhibition in the town, visit themurwillumbaharttrail.com.



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