When Nimbin artist Shirley Miller decided to take

When Nimbin artist Shirley Miller decided to take a trip to Alice Spring to gather creative inspiration, she had envisaged sitting outside her tent, absorbed in the serene landscape that surrounded her camp. But the weather had other ideas.

For days the wind remained so strong and gusty that Shirley found it impossible to work outside. Instead she began gathering leaves, feathers from local birds and other interesting bits and pieces which she then began experimenting with inside the relative calm of her tent. Little did she know it would inspire a whole new series of art.

Working with these random objects has created a new and exciting direction for me and since Ive got home Ive continued to explore that, said Shirley. After the trip I started seeing things on the footpath or in the garden that most people simply wouldnt notice it was like I had suddenly discovered this new wellspring of inspiration. Its funny that I had to travel halfway across Australia to realise these things had always been at my fingertips.

Shirley is showing off her new wall pieces in an exhibition called Bits & Pieces, which is now on show at Armisteads Gallery in Lismore. It also features some of her more traditional works paintings with gouache (an opaque watercolour) on handmade paper.

Bits & Pieces will remain on show until August 30.

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