Wild Mount Morgan Clay

Three ceramic cockatoos sitting on wood stumps - Louise Lawrence - Wild Mount Morgan Clay

Louise Lawrence (Jones) is an artist passionate about nature and engaging others in creative pursuit. Having taught Visual Arts at Longreach State High School and Rockhampton State High School she has recently ceased full time teaching to instead pursue art professionally and embrace home education for her youngest two children.

Louise was born in Tasmania and began her art journey there with senior studies and submission to numerous art competitions. She held a successful solo exhibition at Launceston’s Red Door Gallery after a visit to NT’s Nhulunby which inspired her naïve series of colourful acrylic paintings and a children’s book ‘Child of the River’. Her painting which inspired this book won the Maleny Art Prize. Two other exhibitions followed: a solo exhibition ‘Life.Changes.Everything.’ was hosted by Dayboro Community Art Gallery at which she was a member, Publicity Officer and then President. Fascinated by local history, she began an editing partnership with Samford Historical society and in collaboration with them and Samford State School painted a mural for John Scott Park depicting the journey of families and early soldier settlers in rural Samford.

Completing an introductory unit on oil painting at Brisbane Institute of Art, allowed Louise to revisit oils and learn the traditional methods. Louise was employed by 139 Club in Fortitude Valley Brisbane to run a three month artist in residence for their Drop- in Centre. This series of workshops was highly successful and the final public auction and group exhibition of the artists was hugely supported.

Louise completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts and Culture through ACU Brisbane 2012 and completed a printmaking unit at Griffith College of Art which was the catalyst for lots of experimentation in printmaking; in particular monoprints and linoprints. Following the completion of her Grad Dip in Secondary Education Louise worked briefly in Brisbane and then took up a permanent placement in Longreach running the art department. It was here that she joined the pottery group and LACA, and eventually displayed paintings and pottery in the gallery and facilitated workshops on Portraiture and Landscape in Mixed Media. Highlights of her high school tenure were collaborating with Matilda Musical in set design and production, playing piano in the Matilda Orchestra and having her students participate in pit fire kiln workshops and their student exhibition of ceramic masks at LACA. During her stay in Longreach Louise hosted a number of Paint and Plonk evenings for the Uniting Church fundraiser and enjoyed seeing local talent develop.

Currently Louise resides in Mount Morgan QLD. Since her discovery of yellow fireclay on her property and its links to the historic gold mine brickworks she has been exploring the characteristics and varieties of local wild clay. It is with these clays that she creates sculptures and carved bowls which are bisque fired in her hand built wood fired kiln. She seeks to use sustainable methods for all her ceramic creations and prefers slip sgraffito decorations rather than glazes.

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