Deirdre Bean’s exhibition ‘Australia’s Mangroves: Living on the Edge’ is showing at Tweed Regional Gallery until 17th March 2019.
This beautiful collection of watercolours showcase the importance, beauty and fragility of mangroves in Australia.
I developed a fascination for mangroves as a child when I swam amongst them in the Myall River, NSW. On learning more of their ecological importance and vulnerability, I undertook a self-funded project to document these unique plants.
'Sonneratia caseolaris' 48 x 40cm, watercolour and graphite on Arches 300 gsm hot pressed paper
A mangrove is a plant that thrives in the intertidal zone. They play an essential role in our tropical and subtropical coastal ecosystems as the breeding grounds for fish and crustaceans. Described as the lungs of the sea, mangroves form a protective buffer between ocean and land against runoff, storm surges and cyclones. Recent scientific research confirms that mangroves are vulnerable to increasing temperature in seawater and rising sea level, and so face a problematic future. I studied 34 of Australia’s 47 species over a seven-year period. Each species was located in the field, collected, and painted from life.
I encountered many hazards: torrential rain, mosquitoes, ants, heat, mud, dehydration and, of course, crocodiles. My equipment included my camera, water, insect repellant, collecting bag, and phone - with variable coverage. Once my specimens were secured, many hours were spent in the studio developing a botanically accurate watercolour painting, the results of which are featured in this exhibition. Deirdre Bean, 2018
Deirdre Bean is an internationally awarded natural history artist. Her artworks in watercolour on paper and vellum are painstakingly executed over many hours. Influenced by traditional painting methods, Deirdre brings her fine illustrative style into a fresh contemporary practice inspired by the natural world.
Deirdre paints her subjects closely, revealing intricate detail and perfect forms that the eye sometimes misses. She sources her subjects from field trips and methodically composes her paintings in the studio.
Deirdre is proudly represented by Mitchell Fine Art in Brisbane.