Studios open for art show

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Local identity Jan Harwood will unveil her art as well as her egg cup collection at Rosa Brook Hall during this year’s Margaret River Region Open Studios.
Camera IconLocal identity Jan Harwood will unveil her art as well as her egg cup collection at Rosa Brook Hall during this year’s Margaret River Region Open Studios. Credit: Warren Hately

The Margaret River Region’s Open Studios kicks off with its delayed annual art celebration this weekend.

The popular event showcasing artists from across the Capes region includes many well-known practitioners, and this year includes artists appearing for the first and last time.

Better known for her Margaret River Free-Range Eggs, owner Jan Harwood will showcase her own artistic talents at Rosa Brook Hall starting from this weekend.

Meanwhile, illustrator and painter Patricia Negus has confirmed this year’s MRROS will be her last.

Negus will open her studio Swallow’s Welcome for the last time from tomorrow, showcasing years of efforts including a sale of about 100 original watercolours and paintings which punters might recognise from her signature work in Jane Scott’s Wildflowers of South West Australia.

The artist’s studio includes her Chapel of the Flowers, built by late husband Tim to display Negus’ collection.

The artistic selection features only some of the 500 most common wildflowers painted by Negus during her years travelling across the South West.

Harwood’s show in Rosa Brook includes a huge range of specialty egg cups collected during her 30 years running her chicken farm.

The artist said she resisted collecting “kitsch” chicken-themed items for years, but a trip to Stockholm turned her around.

“Since then, I’ve become amazed at the sheer plethora of designs and ideas for egg cups,” she said.

“I’ve accumulated a lot and I’m still collecting.”

Harwood is preparing to retire from her life as a chicken farmer, and plans to pursue her art interests further.

“What better theme to say goodbye to my time as an egg farmer and hello to new beginnings than ‘eggs’ — an iconic symbol of new beginnings and life,” she said.

“So I’ve painted and printed and moulded eggs from one media to another because I’m exploring and having fun.”

Harwood will also hold egg-blowing and decoration workshops at 11am daily, which cost $10.

“If anyone asks what’s the difference between craft and art, I’d say that if your egg displays your individuality and makes you feel good (and) provokes a feeling, then it’s art,” she said.

Open Studios runs until September 27, but exhibition times and dates vary.

For all the details and information go to ww.mrropenstudios.com.au.

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