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Works by 19 artists and artisans from the Scenic Rim and beyond will combine to create a celebration of place and belonging as a fitting finale to Council’s cultural year.

To be launched on Saturday 22 October by Scenic Rim Arts Reference Group Chair Cr Michael Enright, the final showing of 2022 at The Centre Beaudesert combines two exhibitions in one under the banner of Connections to Place.

Running Rivers: Pigments of Place, by Beechmont artist Kuweni Dias Mendis, provides the perfect counterpoint for exquisite small-scale creations and fine craftworks by 18 artists whose works comprise Small Treasures 22: Place.

The headwaters of Back Creek and surrounds in Beechmont have inspired Kuweni Dias Mendis’ collection of more than 50 new works on paper and fabric using pigments handmade from natural materials.

Exploring themes of biodiversity, regeneration and reciprocal relationships between ecosystems, Running Rivers: Pigments of Place explores the use of pigments as a bridge between the living world and Kuweni’s sense of belonging as a woman of colour and culture from Sri Lanka.

“Running Rivers is a personal, intimate and subjective journey of the waterways initiated from my need to feel at home in my body and place,” she said.

“It’s a sensory journey enabling me to understand my relationship with the elements and pigments.

“Through many deep conversations on the landscape with an Indigenous elder, what was revealed was that it’s a journey of remembering.

“This is my story of belonging. Witness my journey of coming home to my body and landscape as a pilgrim of place.”

A sense of belonging and connection to place is reflected in the more than 100 works showcased in Small Treasures 22: Place, which also celebrates the resilience of the Scenic Rim community.

Shannon Hunter’s felted bluebird brooch
Shannon Hunter’s felted bluebird brooch is among the Small Treasures collection of artworks on sale during the exhibition

Scenic Rim artists featured are Claire Beck, Waylene Currie, Anita Egginton, Tamlyn Geiger, Louise Grove-Wiechers, Shannon Hunter, Deb McLachlan, Angus MacDiarmid, Felicity Smith, Jenny Stuart and Stephanie Wernick, exhibiting alongside Zela Bissett, Dr Renata Buziak, Therese Flynn-Clarke, Colleen Lavender, Heather Matthew, Twisted Murf and Nadine Schmoll, who all share a connection to the region.

The Small Treasures collection includes paintings, works on paper, sculptures, textiles, fibre and handmade paper, jewellery and photography, and make great Christmas gifts or acquisitions by the discerning art collector or home decorator.

The works and what has inspired them are as diverse as the artists themselves.

Twisted Murf’s miniscule sculptures, no bigger than a cigarette lighter, represent snippets of his life or connection to nature and country, just as Felicity Smith’s work evokes childhood memories of farms in England and Ireland and the enduring bond that ties her to those places.

With leaves, trees, flora and fungi recurring motifs in her textiles, Shannon Hunter has drawn inspiration from the bushland and seasonal colours surrounding her home.

Nadine Schmoll’s Sun and Stars wearable art highlights the connection between celestial bodies, which have provided navigational points and guidance since ancient times, and humanity’s place in the universe.

For Colleen Lavender, who lives on the border of the region but still thinks of the Scenic Rim as home, sculpture is an expression of her connection to Tamborine Mountain, Canungra, Beaudesert and Boonah.

“I love the people, the landscapes and the rainforest,” she said.

Members of the community are invited to be part of the free exhibition launch, beginning with morning tea at 10.30am on Saturday 22 October, and to meet the artists.

Although this is a free event open to all, RSVPs are required for catering and can be made online via the website or by telephoning The Centre box office on 07 5540 5050.

The free exhibition will run until 17 December during gallery hours, Tuesday to Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm.