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(un)Natural Ocean

Three Tasmanian artists whose practice is inspired by the ocean.


Opening Friday 9 September at 5:30pm

Contemporary multi media artist, Robbie Burrows, accentuates the connection between pulsating New Life and a healthy oceanic system. Composing three dimensional works on canvas combined with delicate brush work, Robbie brings forth a visceral other worldliness to the aquatic eco system.

We also introduce two artists who use marine debris as the basis of their art making. Jess Leitmanis creates delightful organic woven sculptures, made from rope collected on the Southwest Tasmania Marine Debris Cleanup trip, while jeweller Sophie Carnell’s work questions what we view as precious and what we view as disposable by using ocean debris alongside precious materials and transforming them into treasured objects.

Exhibition will be opened by Dr Ingrid van Putten, researcher with the ecosystems modelling team at the CSIRO Centre for Marine and Atmospheric research.

Jess Leitmanis will also be holding in intimate hands-on workshop in her art of marine debris weaving. More details and bookings here.


Robbie Burrows

Robbie Burrows is a contemporary Abstract Artist living in the ocean town of Bicheno East Coast of Tasmania.  It is her connection to the beauty and fragility of the ocean and her desire to embrace the health and preservation of the aquatic world that inspires her to take paint to canvas.

As a multi media artist, she incorporates pigment powders, acrylic paint, cloth and organic materials, to form three dimensional works upon canvass. Robbie has attended the Tasmanian School of Art and privately tutored by Artist Desiree Fitzgibbon. Robbie has exhibited as a solo artist and also as part of group collaborations in Hobart and East Coast of Tasmania, currently exhibiting at Waubs Bay Gallery Bicheno.  

Robbie’s Great Grandmother, Amelia Burrows, prominent landscape artist born in Launceston, Tasmania, was also an artist who painted the beauty of our waters and landscape with much detail. Some of Amelia’s works reside in Tasmanian Museums Hobart and Launceston.


Jess Leitmanis

Jess is an artist who creates sculptures and vessels with rope reclaimed from the ocean. Over the past two years she has travelled to a number of remote regions in Australia to collect marine debris rope for her artwork. In 2015 she ventured to the Southwest National Park, Tasmania, with South West Marine Debris Cleanup and returned home with a personal stash of over half a ton of rope.  Following that she journeyed to the opposite end of Australia, Kutini-Payamu National park in Far North Queensland, with Clean Coast Collective.

In both 2015 and 2016, Jess has held a solo exhibition in Melbourne as part of Sustainable Living Festival, titled Future Sands and Tomorrow’s Nest respectively.

Jess is slowly weaving her way through her stash of rope, and continues to accumulate more at every opportunity…


Sophie Carnell

Sophie is a contemporary jeweller working out of her studio on Bruny Island while being inspired by the stunning landscape of Southern Tasmania.

Having initially completed short courses in jewellery design after finishing her Fine Arts degree at UTAS, she has gone on to teach herself an array of skills in jewellery creation using a diverse range of media. Sophie’s jewellery practice explores relationships to landscape, place and interconnections with our environment – whether her own or of people long gone.

Precious metals and natural and found materials are combined and transformed into objects and wearable tokens that carry an essence of this beautiful land in which we live. Her works speak of the effects that landscape can have on people and conversely the effect that humans can have on their landscape.

Sophie has been shortlisted as a finalist in a number of prizes including the prestigious Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize (2015) and was also awarded Highly Commended finalist in the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize (2014).

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(un)Natural Ocean

Wild Island Tasmania, Salamanca Place, Battery Point, Tasmania, Australia

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