MARIE-LISE Laviolette has been having a close look at Lismore. And she likes what she sees. Now this Darwin-based artist has created an exhibition around her observations.
Her exhibition Urbanities, Mundanities + the Possibilities at the Art in the Heart Pop Up Gallery in Magellan Street shows just how Marie-lise sees Lismore. Her photos (from her iPhone), perspex paintings and drawings represent her unique view.
Marie-lise's six-month stay in Lismore has made a huge impression on her.
"It's been a life-changing experience for me," she told The Echo, a Scottish accent covering a French-Canadian heritage. "It's a really happening art scene in Lismore. I think it's a very inclusive, generous, open town. Everyone is happy to help visiting artists."
Just after her arrival from Darwin Marie-lise met local painter Jan Fleming and the two hit it off immediately. They have been working together ever since.
"We have helped each other a lot in our art practice. Very challenging, but rewarding," she said.
Marie-lise's stay in Lismore has been facilitated by the Art in the Heart project.
The project's coordinator Stephen Nelson received a phone call from Marie-lise in March this year. She asked if she could be an artist-in-residence within the project. Stephen immediately agreed.
Marie-lise has a studio in Darwin but she reckons the art scene in Lismore is more lively.
"Art in the Heart is fantastic. We have nothing like that in Darwin. It gives artists the opportunity to have a low-cost space to exhibit their works. And the landlords are happy too.
"I've not been able to connect with fellow artists in Darwin so easily as I have here in Lismore," she said. "You have no idea how lucky you are to have such a large and vibrant artistic community."
Marie has a connection with Lismore through her husband who used to live here.
"I thought about coming to Lismore to live. But my husband and I have a business in Darwin so it would be in a few years."
Marie-lise has been focusing on her perspex paintings in recent times but her Lismore experience has changed her approach.
"I feel that my style has freed up," she said. "It's really nice to get back into drawing and printmaking. Back to where I started, I guess."
Urbanities, Mundanities + the Possibilities runs till September 29.