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Nature comes to life in local exhibition

Maggie Brockie with one of her animal pieces.Maggie Brockie with one of her animal pieces.MAGGIE Brockie’s talent might have come as a surprise to her 22 years ago when she first started work in the studio.
Nanjing Night Net

“I raised a family before I started playing around with clay,” the 67-year-old said.

The Stanthorpe-based sculptor will share the gallery space with Tenterfield Aboriginal painter Rod McIntosh for the Inverell Art Gallery Common Ground exhibition, opening Friday evening.

Tasmanian born, the artist said she was searching for warmer weather, but found a familiar four seasons, and inspiration in the Granite Belt.

Her work is life-like and stylised representations of birds and animals, some freestanding, others embedded in a natural setting like a piece of bark or human shoulder.

“Seeing the granite forms, and then just because I do native animals and birds, it was just a natural progression to put them into the rock forms, or the little boulder forms,” she said.

She spent years keeping artist friends company, but even after they invited her to give it a try, she refused, until one day, it was the right time.

“I’ve reared quite a few native animals, so I had that close proximity to animals and birds, and at one point a friend of mine suggested I have a go with some clay and I thought, ‘Yeah, right-o, I’m ready’,” she said.

“And after about three days, he was trying to tell me what to do and I said ‘No, I know what I want to do,” and laughed.

Maggie said her first piece of significance was a joey in a pouch.

“Because I has hand-rearing joeys and looking at them all the time,” she said.

She was advised stick to kangaroos to get a handle on the medium and her skill.

“So you could say I did my apprenticeship on kangaroos and joeys, and then one day I tried to make a possum, and it was easy,” Maggie said with a chuckle.

Her proportions, from frilled lizards, to platypus, pythons to humans, are all accurate and lifelike.

“I think I’m just a three-dimensional person, you know so I know a joey’s about that big,” she said, holding up her hands.

“I talk with my hands a lot, so it makes sense that I would work in a medium like clay in a 3-D way.”

Common Ground opens on Friday, February 19 with an opening at 5.30pm at the Inverell Art gallery. The show runs until April 7 during gallery hours.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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