PREPARATIONS for this year's Caldera Art Festival are in full swing and organiser Andy Reimanis has managed to pull off another Herculean feat to put together an event which showcases the remarkable biodiversity of the Tweed.

Mr Reimanis said this year's festival would display 110 works by 70 artists.

The festival features works which highlight the environmental beauty of Australia's Green Cauldron, produced by some of the country's premier artists and shown in the heart of the national, natural treasure which is the Tweed.

This year paintings, sculptures and a variety of different art forms including photography will be on display at the Civic Centre in Murwillumbah and the creative minds behind the art will vie for a number of prestigious prizes including the Tyalgum Festival Art Prize, the Essential Energy Primary Schools Prize, The Max Boyd Prize and the Caldera Art Awards.

Festival fellowship recipient Rhonda Baker will show a series of paintings of the regions waterfalls as well as a number of images of threatened local animal species.

The images of the disappearing animal species are hidden in the background of Rhonda's art and are difficult to spot at first.

Rhonda said the works were symbolic of the circumstances these threatened species were in and were difficult to spot in her art because they were difficult to spot in nature.

"I was delighted to receive the fellowship and it's been absolutely fantastic to work with the Caldera Art Festival," Ms Baker said.

Jacqueline King also received a fellowship and used it to create a number of glass sculptures representing agricultural mono cultures versus native forests.

The sculptures are made from fused and slumped glass, are hand cut and are mostly plate shaped.

"If you love art you also have to love the environment.

"The two are intrinsically linked.

"This exhibition is literally the best of both worlds and shows work by world class artists.

"This is art with guts," Ms King said.

Ms King also created a number of metal images of birds titled 'In the Shadow of a Magpie' which represent birds which live in people's backyards but are often overlooked.

The festival exhibition is at Murwillumbah's Civic Centre and will be officially opened this Saturday, September 29 at 4.00 pm when the festival's finalist will be announced.

The finalists' art will then go on the road and be exhibited at different locations including 'The Centre' at Beaudesert where the winners of the various prizes will be announced on Saturday, October 20th.



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