Bundaberg Regional Council acknowledges the traditional country of the Taribelang Bunda, Gooreng Gooreng, Gurang, and Bailai Peoples and recognise that this country has always been and continues to be of cultural, spiritual, social and economic significance.

We recognise the thousands of generations of continuous culture that have shaped this country and the people on it.

This public artwork was commissioned by Bundaberg Regional Galleries in 2013, as part of the River Rocks Interpretation Project, an arts and cultural initiative of the then Bundaberg City Council. The project was a collaboration between the artist alongside primary school children who identified as Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander. This public artwork can be found on the river walk, on Quay Street, Bundaberg.

Image: Julie Appo, Curtis Zealey, Sandra Aidon, and Shelley Pisani, Life by the River, 2003, tile mosaic.

A note from the Director

Long before there was the written word, and perhaps even before language as we know it existed, people were using art to tell their stories.

We only have to look to the incredible rock paintings and petroglyphs created by our First Nations people that tell some of the richest and oldest stories on Earth, to understand this is so. Storytelling through the eyes of the artist - or ‘narrative art’ as it is known - is the focus of the Galleries from April to June.

In April, the lens of photographer, Sabrina Lauriston, captures the stories of Italian migrants from Bundaberg, Melbourne, and Fremantle. This exhibition Australia: The Italian Experience, curated in partnership with Trudie Leigo, takes viewers into the homes of Italian men and women, who immigrated to Australia after World War II. Each image evokes a response, whether it be the lined hands cupping a cherished photo, or the wild abandon of the saxophonist in his kitchen. Sabrina herself knows the story of migration all too well, having experienced first-hand the dislocation of culture, language and identity after her move from Italy to Australia in 2008, and her own story sits quietly in the shadows of this powerful exhibition.

Alongside Australia: The Italian Experience, are the watercolours of well-known regional artist, Mary van Dijk-Argall, in her exhibition My History of Bargara and the Evolution of a Garden. While seemingly an exhibition of exquisitely executed garden paintings, this exhibition is actually the story of the artist and her journey from time of migration to Australia at age 12 through the hardships of her life to her current situation. For anyone who knows Bargara, Mary is a well-known figure, heading to the basin every day, often accompanied by her canine friend, for a restorative swim. For anyone who has been part of the Bundaberg arts scene for a long time, Mary is also known as a significant contributor, both as artist and tutor. There is however so much more to this feisty, intelligent 80 plus year old than many know, and it is this story that she tells through every brushstroke in this latest solo exhibition.

It is a different story that unfolds at Childers Arts Space in Unlemon: A Meandering Tale of Citrus. Here it is the story of one of our most humble citrus - the lemon - and its history in trade route, medicine and culinary practices that have changed cultures around the world. South Australian artist, Alison Mitchell tells this story through traditional still life oil paintings that evoke the style of the 17th century Dutch masters. The lemon’s story unfurls like a piece of peel as you walk through this exhibition, and viewers will be drawn in by the richness of the artworks exhibited.

With this focus on narrative art, I encourage all visitors to take the time to immerse themselves in the stories that are being told on the Gallery walls and reflect in the silence on the voice of the artist and the story they are wanting to convey.

Rebecca McDuff
Gallery Director

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Unlemon – a meandering tale of citrus

25 March - 8 May

Alison Mitchell
Exhibition opening: Saturday 26 March, 3pm
Location: Childers Arts Space

Unlemon – a meandering tale of citrus reveals a multilayered story of citrus – its origins, trajectory, diversity and tenacity.

Featuring the work of South Australian artist, Alison Mitchell, this exhibition of over 40 still-life oil paintings unfolds the story of citrus. From its origins approximately 20 million years ago on the Gondwana supercontinent, through its trade routes from China and Persia to the Mediterranean and the Americas, and on to its uses in medicine and culinary practices, the humble citrus is elevated in this exquisite exhibition.

Unlemon - a meandering tale of citrus was first exhibited in the Museum of Economic Botany at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, and Childers Arts Space is exclusive venue for this exhibition in Queensland.

These patterns have also influenced fashion designers such as Akira Isogawa, Nikki Zimmermann, Kate Spade and Karen Walker, and examples of this cross-over into the fashion world will be a highlight of the exhibition, through collaboration with fashion anthropologist and owner of the Darnell Collection, Charlotte Smith.

Image: Alison Mitchell, Mandarins, 2020, oil on linen, 40 x 60 cm

Australia: The Italian Experience

9 April - 5 June

Photography by Sabrina Lauriston
Curated by Trudie Leigo & Sabrina Lauriston
Exhibition opening: Friday 8 April, 5.30pm
Location: Gallery One + The Vault, Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery

Between 1945 and 1970 an estimated 288,000 Italians migrated to Australia. Their contribution has been significant, helping to shape our culture, history, economy and taste buds.

This exhibition offers an insight into the personal experiences of Italians who immigrated to Australia, during this period. They courageously left behind their country which had been devastated by the Second World War, to pursue opportunity, work and a new life. In 2018 and 2019 artist and photographer Sabrina Lauriston and curator Trudie Leigo visited the homes of Italian immigrants in Bundaberg, Fremantle and Melbourne. They interviewed and photographed individuals, who were mostly aged in their eighties or nineties.

Sabrina Lauriston migrated from Italy to Australia in 2008. Having experienced firsthand the dislocation of culture, language and identity, Sabrina wanted to undertake a creative project that would enable her to explore and honour those who had migrated before her. She invited curator Trudie Leigo to collaborate with her. Together they were welcomed into the homes of these men and women, whose lives have spanned some of the most significant events of the twentieth century. They are the firsthand witnesses of fascism, war, hunger, poverty, displacement, survival, depression, migration, isolation and exploration.

They are a humble generation who sacrificed much to start a new life, working hard to raise their families in the stability that Australia offered. As this generation of migrants reach an age which is more often marked by illness than health, they find themselves surrounded by memories and old photographs. They sailed away from family and friends, unsure if, or when, they would ever return. They endured firsthand the terrors of war, and to this day they carry deep scars of loss, grief, and homesickness.

This exhibition is in honour of all the Italian immigrants who had few choices in life, but choose one of the hardest, to leave and to make a new start. Thank you for choosing Australia.

Image: Sabrina Lauriston, Pietro Rigo emigrated to Australia in 1951, Bundaberg, 2017, digital print

My History of Bargara and the Evolution of a Garden

9 April - 29 May

Mary van Dijk-Argall
Exhibition opening: Friday 8 April, 5.30pm
Location: Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery

Mary van Dijk-Argall is a name synonymous with the rich arts tapestry of our Bundaberg Region. Now based in Bargara, Mary was born in Holland as the eldest of nine children. Her love of painting and drawing was innate, but rubbished by her father and regarded as a total waste of time.

“I always had this feeling in my fingers, like I needed something in my hand, and it wasn’t until later on that I realised it was a paint brush I was missing.”

At the age of 12, she arrived by boat in Australia, and her love for her adopted country started from that moment. This latest exhibition My History of Bargara and the Evolution of a Garden was painted plein air, and is a testament to her skill as a traditional watercolour artist. Capturing the lushness of her tropical garden, nestled in the heart of Bargara, this exhibition also reflects on the history of Mary’s adopted home, and her personal journey that accompanied her development as an artist.

Image: Mary van Dijk-Argall, Garden Joy, 2020, watercolour, 35.5cm x 25.5cm

The Isolation Beetle Project

11 February - 6 June

Kym Latter
Location: Imaginarts Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery

Due to popular demand, this beautiful sculptural exhibition is being extended! Visitors now have until June to see the whimsical works of Fraser Coast artist, Kym Latter, and how she used the tedium of the 2020 lockdowns to create, connect and share her Beetle project with her Facebook followers.

Every day for a month, Kym would challenge her Facebook followers to use materials around their home to create a beetle sculpture. The project grew to become an international success, with over 500 people joining in from around the world.

In this exhibition, young and older visitors alike will marvel at the museum-like display of quirky beetles, and the migratory map that exemplifies the homes of the international beetles.

During the school holidays, there will also be special Beetle-themed take-home packs for our little art lovers.

Image: Kym Latter, Isolation Beetles, 2020, recycled materials

Colour Ways

13 May - 17 July

John Andersen
Exhibition opening: Saturday 14 May, 3pm
Location: Childers Arts Space

‘Using paint loosely, I disrupt the canvas with shapes, lines and colour, mixing up with brush marks to portray a sense of feeling and place’.

John Andersen is a painter and a colourist, using colour in a special and skilful way to evoke the imagination. Having lived his life traveling widely through regional and metropolitan Australia, John is now based at Woodgate Beach, near Childers.

His latest exhibition Colour Ways is indicative of his abstract and often impressionistic style, and features a range of mediums, including acrylics and gouache. The subject matter - nature in landscapes - is captured with expressive and intuitive marks that ignite the imagination and let the viewer interpret the work through their own lens.

Image: John Andersen, North South Connection, 2021, watercolour gouache, 28 x 20 cm

Ink in the Lines

11 June - 14 August

Australian War Memorial
Exhibition opening: Friday 10 June, 5.30pm
Location: Gallery One, Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery

Behind every tattoo is a story. Ink in the Lines, a touring exhibition from the Australian War Memorial, shares the stories of Australia’s military veterans through their tattoos.

Ink in the Lines steps outside the chronological military history narrative in favour of a thematic structure that portrays the deeply personal wartime experiences of Australian men and women through the medium of their tattoos. Each tattoo is as personal and unique as the story it conveys.

The exhibition covers 22 personal stories across all branches of the Australian Defence Force. The narrative is divided into four major themes: Identity and Belonging; Mateship and Family; Loss, Grief, and Commemoration; and, Healing. These themes collectively explain how and why tattooing has become an integral - and intricate- part of Australia’s military history.

Image: Bob McKendry, Newton, 2019, photograph

Bugle Boy and the Electric Boogaloos

11 June - 14 August

Todd Fuller
Exhibition opening: Friday 10 June, 5.30pm
Location: The Vault, Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery

Just as the bugle called the troops from their slumber, a line is asked to mobilise.

In this series of experimental videos and drawings, Sydney based artist Todd Fuller collaborates with conductor and brass musician Ryley Gillen. Together they create an interdisciplinary call and response. In these works, drawing is activated through the form of live animation to perform alongside composition and live music, the pair create duets between their mediums in real time. Just as the bugle was used to signal action in the troops, here the artists undertake a contemporary song cycle, as unexpected artforms harmonise and advance.

Image: Todd Fuller, Bugle Boy 1, 2022, photograph

Design CQ

11 June - 14 August

Curated by Makers’ Shopfront and Bundaberg Regional Galleries
Exhibition opening: Friday 10 June, 5.30pm
Location: Gallery One, Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery

In 2019, Shelley Pisani kicked off a 2-year project that responded to an observed need in regional Queensland for professionalisation of visual arts practice. CQ Shopfront was a project that worked with Central Queensland artists and makers with the aim of building business and product development capacity. With the advent of the pandemic, the program initially went online, becoming more accessible for more artists across the participating regions of Banana Shire, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Fraser Coast, Mackay, North Burnett and Rockhampton.

Through workshops, webinars, residencies, mentoring programs and a forum, 527 artists had the opportunity to grow their practice into a business. Design CQ showcases the “products” of 32 of the project’s participants, inclusive of some of the Artisans in Residence who successfully led mentoring-based residencies. These artists have taken their learnings from the program, the networks they have built and new directions forged, and have developed products that reflect their passions, their values and a desire to approach their arts practice with an entrepreneurial hat on.

The products on show range from original artworks scaled to be accessible for the artist’s target audiences through to bulk manufactured items inspired by their original work - and everything in between. This exhibition replicates a trade fair – with the artists and makers ready to take their products to market.

Exhibiting Artists: Adele Outteridge, Andrew Treloar, Annette Tyson, Billie Jo Ogilvie, Carolyn Stevenson, Debbie Bennett, Felicity Chapman, Fiona Flohr, Helen Hutton, Jane Marin, Jeanette Stok, Jennifer Hollstein, Judith Hopwood, Karen M Andersen, Kellie McHugh, Lalune Croker, Lois Shoebridge, Lorraine Maskell, Marc Harrison, Mari Hirata, Megan Spencer, Melissa Peacock, Michelle Black, Patricia Coleman, Pru Morrison, Rebecca Lewis, Samantha Ephraims, Sarah Larsen, Sheena Larsen, Shelley Engwirda, Shelley Pisani and Yvonne Wingrove.

This project is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland’s Touring Queensland Fund. The Regional Arts Development Fund is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Bundaberg Regional Council and Mackay Regional Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland. A special thank you to the original CQ Shopfront project’s partners – Artisan, Arts Queensland, Australia Council for the Arts, CQ RASN/ CQ University, Community Lifestyle Support Ability Enterprises, Crow Street Creative, Flying Arts Alliance, Macadamias Australia and the Regional Arts Fund, as well as participating local governments – Bundaberg Regional Council, Fraser Coast Regional Council, Gladstone Regional Council, Mackay Regional Council, North Burnett Regional Council and Rockhampton Regional Council including their arts and cultural teams, RADF programs and host venues.

Image: Design CQ printed tea towel

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Artist Table Dinner

Saturday 9 April

Time: 6.30pm - 9pm
Cost: $80pp, includes dinner, dessert and drinks package
Location: Gallery One, Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery

Immerse yourself in the richness of the Italian culture, with our Artist Table Dinner for Australia: The Italian Experience.

The exclusivity of the event will be heightened by the recital of a new composition by Bundaberg born, John Rotar. Now known Australia wide for his work with the Qld Symphony Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra, The Australian Voices, Southern Cross Soloists, and most recently The Brisbane Festival, John has collaborated with Bella Canna to write a piece of music that is redolent of the themes of migration in the exhibition. This event will be the first time that this composition has been performed publicly and is not to be missed.

Image: Sabrina Lauriston, Melbourne, 2017, photograph

Artie Fartie’s School Holiday Free Fun!

When: Saturday 2 April – Monday 18 April
Cost: Free

This school holidays, get your art on with the Galleries’ resident kid Arthur Fartimus - better known as Artie Fartie.

To ensure that no one misses out on the great Gallery activities, Artie has been ‘beetling away’ to create special art packs that our youngest art lovers can collect from the Gallery and take home to inspire creativity over the school holidays! Working with artist, Kym Latter of the Isolation Beetle Project, Artie Fartie has put together a supply of activities that are all things creepy crawly and guaranteed to have you go ‘hopping mad’!

Pick up your Artie Fartie School Holiday Pack from Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery or Childers Art Space.

Come and immerse yourself in these fun and hands-on workshops. 

Snap! Still Life Phone Photography

Date: Wednesday 20 April
Time: 6pm - 8pm
Cost: $45 per person
Location: Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery

Join photographer Sandy Harvey as she helps you to master the camera on your phone. Learn how to snap a great pic so that that you’ll never miss the opportunity to show off your latest culinary creation or artistic endeavour! This back-to-basics workshop is suitable for those starting out with phone photography or just wanting to brush up on their skills!

Uncork Your Imagination

Date: Wednesday 18 May
Time: 6pm - 8pm
Cost: $45 per person
Location: Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery

Join artist and educator, Jess Newitt from @ArtJesso
as she taps into your imagination and lets your creativity flow freely in this two-hour workshop. Utilising basic watercolour techniques, Jess will lead you through a painting process, but will also give you the space to paint intuitively and create your own artwork. Every level of creativity welcome, from beginners onward.

Ceramics Inspiration

Date: Wednesday 15 June
Time: 6pm - 8pm
Cost: $60 per person | Inc. all ceramic materials and firing
Location: Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery

Join tutor, Shelley Pisani, of The Ideas Distillery, and curator of CQ Design, as she shows you how to produce a beautiful brushstroke technique on ceramics. Each participant will be provided with all materials to create a hand-painted bowl that will then be clear glazed, and kiln fired. No prior experience with ceramics is necessary.

Art Walk

Join us on the last Wednesday of the month in Bundaberg, and the last Thursday of the month in Childers for our monthly Art Walks. These tours, guided by the Gallery Staff, give the stories behind the exhibitions and allow visitors to experience the artworks in a different light. Stay on after the tour for morning tea and a chat with other art lovers.

Wednesday 27 April

Time: 10am – 11am
Location: Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery
Exhibition: Australia: The Italian Experience

Thursday 28 April

Time: 9.30am – 10.30am
Location: Childers Arts Space
Exhibition: Unlemon - A meandering Tale of Citrus

Wednesday 25 May

Time: 3pm – 5pm
Location: Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery
Exhibition: My History of Bargara and the Evolution of a Garden

Wednesday 22 June

Time: 6pm – 7.30pm
Location: Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery
Exhibition: Design CQ

Wednesday 29 June

Time: 10am – 11am
Location: Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery
Exhibition: Ink In The Lines + Bugle Boys and the Electric Boogaloos

Thursday 30 June

Time: 10am – 11am
Location: Childers Arts Space
Exhibition: Colour Ways

Artisan Twilight Markets

Friday 29 April

Time: 4 - 7pm
Cost: Free
Location: Gallery Park, Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery
1 Barolin Street, Bundaberg

Take a stroll under the fairy lights of Gallery Park, and enjoy the bi-annual Artisan Twilight Market. Showcasing some of the best artisans from our region, these markets are filled with hand-crafted products that exemplify why we should ‘buy local’. While you peruse the stalls, enjoy the laid-back vibe of local musicians and pop inside the gallery to see the latest exhibitions.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, there is no better place to find the perfect gift than the Artisan Twilight Markets at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery.


Photography with Sabrina Lauriston

Date: Saturday 21 May
Time: 10am - 3pm
Cost: $100 per person | 25% student concession available
Location: Central Qld University Campus, Bundaberg
Details: Suitable for intermediate photographers | Max. 12 participants | BYO lunch

Acclaimed photographer, and artist behind the lens of Australia: The Italian Experience Sabrina Lauriston, will share her passion and expertise at this Photography Masterclass.

Photography is a great way to document the small and not-so-small moments in life, as well as the beauty of our environment. In this 5 hour workshop, participants will learn:
- Manual settings and lenses to capture a story
- Photo composition for dramatic images
- Information and characteristics of different lenses

What to bring: Smartphone or Camera (if you bring a camera, please ensure you have an operational understanding of chosen camera).

This masterclass is aimed at people aged 16 years and over, with a working understanding of their camera who want to learn new skills or hone their existing knowledge.

Drawn to animation with Todd Fuller

Date: Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 June
Time: 10am - 3pm daily
Cost: $200 per person | 25% student concession available
Location: Central Qld University Campus, Bundaberg
Details: Suitable for intermediate or advanced drawers aged 16 years and over | Max. 12 participants per workshop | BYO lunch

Join artist and educator, Jess Newitt from @ArtJesso
as she taps into your imagination and lets your creativity flow freely in this two-hour workshop. Utilising basic watercolour techniques, Jess will lead you through a painting process, but will also give you the space to paint intuitively and create your own artwork. Every level of creativity welcome, from beginners onward.

Friday Session

Friday 24 June

Time: 5 - 7pm
Location: Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery

Our Friday Session is the perfect way to finish your week, catch up with friends and enjoy the gallery ambience. There is a guest artist every month for light entertainment, and drinks are available for purchase from the bar. Get your friends together and check it out!

This is a free event, no bookings required.

Gallery shops

Find bespoke, unique gifts and support local artisans!

Childers Arts Space
72 Churchill Street
Mon to Fri 9am – 4pm
Sat and Sun 9am – 3pm
Free entry – all welcome!

Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery
1 Barolin Street
Mon to Fri 9.30am – 5pm
Sat and Sun 10am – 2pm
Free entry – all welcome!