Manning Regional Art Gallery, Taree 23.5.24 – 13.7.24
Duo exhibition with Dave Collins

Perceiving the world through a brightly coloured, abstract lens is what comes naturally for father and daughter artists Dave Collins and Jessie Beard. Sharing a love of art has evolved and strengthened their relationship over the years, inspiring and challenging one another to grow in their artistic practice. Now they proudly present their first duo exhibition where it is evident painting the landscape runs thick through their veins. Together, realising the value of the influence they have on each other.

Beginning this body of work Jessie saw a change was imminent, adjusting to new time restraints whilst navigating life with a new baby and now a mum of two. Jessie allowed herself to be vulnerable to her circumstances, seeing opportunity to invite change, let her process evolve rather than feeling the stress and pressure trying to hang onto what it was before.

She discovered new moments on the canvas can form if there’s no restrictions on the way a mark can be made. Mark making became more purposeful and mindful, releasing tension all in the act of forming a stronger connection to her art. 

These new pieces look at locations along the South Coast of NSW where she holidayed in 2023, along with selected moments from the archives that rendered new inspiration as the body of work progressed. 

‘Flowers from a fairytale’ 2024
150 x 120cm
acrylic, wax pastel & posca on polycotton
SOLD

There were whispers and photos going around of the elusive wild flannel flowers nestled in Crowdy National Park. They were blooming in abundance post bushfires that made for optimal growing conditions for a second consecutive season but unlikely to be seen like this again for possibly a decade or more. I could not miss out on nature’s offering of something so rare and fleeting. I finally caught word from a fellow art and nature lover who equally wanted me to experience it to see it retold on my canvas. On an unmarked track you walk for a while without any sign of the flowers until you turn a bend to a corridor made up of thousands of flannels. Swaying in unison to the gentle breeze, so delicate and soft to touch, topped with tiny glasslike water droplets from the earlier rain. I stood in complete awe and quite literally gasped at the sight that felt good to be true. I fell in love instantly, I replay this moment in my head over and over and I took hundreds of photos to savour. 

‘Sand and clay’ 2024
100 x 120cm
acrylic, oil pastel & posca on polycotton
SOLD

Travelling along the South Coast of NSW, visiting The Pinnacles in Beowa National Park was at the top of my places to-do list. A mini hike with a mini three year old explorer in tow, observing native flora and a coastline of turquoise. The view to see; the striking eroded cliff feature of pure white sand topped with terracotta clay that formed 65 million years ago. A palette my imagination did not need to manifest on its own on the canvas.

‘You get used to it’ 2024
120 x 120cm
acrylic, oil pastel & posca on polycotton
SOLD

Do you know the feeling when you’re in water that is so icy cold your skin begins to feel tingly and numb and then ultimately you don’t end up feeling the cold at all? Well my daughter experienced that for the first time when we all jumped in the rockpool at Aisling Beach in Eden. The temptation proved stronger than the Autumn temperature. Gradient pink and purple rock formations arching over this inviting pool of blue silk. When you reach a place like this, you make the most of it. A few minutes of beautiful naive joy from a toddler, amazed that her parents let her go for a ‘nudie swim’ belongs in my core memories and I hope it does for her too. Although I think the response to me asking in 10 years time if she remembers visiting the purple rockpool will be, “I was freezing and I cried!”

‘You can borrow this memory’ 2024
120 x 100cm
acrylic, wax pastel & posca on canvas
SOLD

A place to walk to with the dogs, gaze at the ocean, do yoga at sunrise or marry your soulmate at sunset, Wallabi Point headland has a way of connecting.
We asked my cousin to take drone photos so Dad and I could each paint a piece in our own perspective of the same place. Moments shared and separate, it’s a part of home and seen within the narrative of many.

‘Textures of Aisling Beach’ 2024
80 x 80cm
acrylic, oil pastel & posca on polycotton

Aisling Beach homes the most stunning rockpool underneath a dramatic pink cliff formation. Rich golden sands scattered with large purple rocks and an ocean of turquoise. I see artworks in the rock markings alone. I feel the entire memory of this afternoon just by collating textures.

‘Upside down, right side up’ 2024
80 x 80cm
acrylic, oil pastel & posca on polycotton

Observing more of Aisling Beach. A tree hangs down the smaller cliffside, fallen, but I rather think it’s meticulously placed. Paired next to one umbrellaed open and nestling into flowering beach plants and banksias. Nature’s imperfections paint the perfect picture overall. 

‘Shorelines’ 2024
76 x 76cm
acrylic, wax pastel, oil pastel & posca on polycotton

At the end of the day the sun cast its final glowing rays upon the beach below the jetty at Coffs Harbour. Sparkling, shining, luminous sheets of water being layered on the shore. Fragments of reflected rainbows soon to be in the cover of night.

‘Shorelines II’ 2024
76 x 76cm
acrylic, wax pastel, oil pastel & posca on polycotton

At the end of the day the sun cast its final glowing rays upon the beach below the jetty at Coffs Harbour. Sparkling, shining, luminous sheets of water being layered on the shore. Fragments of reflected rainbows soon to be in the cover of night.

‘Every possible branch’ 2024
120 x 120cm
acrylic & posca on polycotton

Bringing in the new year alongside friends, floating in the river at Knorrit Flat on an overcast day, the small rapids have the most relaxing sound. Love, laughter, reminiscing, promises and possibilities to fulfil the next 365 days.

‘Boardwalk’ 2024
120 x 120cm
acrylic, wax pastel & posca on polycotton

Watching water ripple over the red and orange rocks below. Admiring the organically bent and twisted trees. Coffee in hand, carrying a growing babe in my belly, I slowly followed my husband with our three year old on his shoulders along the Merimbula boardwalk. The way most of our explorations were spent on our South Coast road trip.

‘A favourite for Audrey’ 2024
76 x 76cm
acrylic & posca on canvas

A memory from a few years ago that I still recall so vividly. It was during a lockdown I drove around Wallabi Point with a sleepless, screaming baby in the car. A flash of unfamiliar colour on the headland I know so well forced me to lap around the block, and excitedly leave the car to observe the hundreds of tiny, pinkish purple and white flowers blanketing a section by the cliffs edge. Numerous butterflies fluttered around and onto them, and the outlook of the ocean was picturesque on a clear, sunny spring day.
Obviously Audrey doesn’t remember this day but maybe it’s subconsciously there as she picks out this piece as her favourite in my body of work. Or maybe it’s just her favourite colour purple.

‘Embrace’ 2024
50 x 50cm
acrylic, wax pastel & posca on polycotton

Hold me the way the sun does the tiny blossoms. Watch how our children’s laughter drown out the stress of a day now gone. Smile a little bigger, for a little longer, remember how lucky we are for the life we have.

‘Elements’ 2024
45 x 57cm
acrylic, oil, wax pastel, pencil & posca on paper
SOLD

Experimental pieces, collaborating with Mother Nature.
I prepared the papers with various materials out in the rain, continuing to add more marks as the rain washed some away and slowly evolved others. I placed leaves on the surface and walked away to remove my urging hands from making more modifications. After some time I returned them to my studio to dry which I then removed the leaves. Studying the marks, shapes and colours, I used what formed to guide how I would go in with drawing to finish the pieces. 

Visit @jessiebeard_art on instagram to see the process video.

‘Elements II’ 2024
28 x 38cm
acrylic, oil, wax pastel, pencil & posca on paper
SOLD

Experimental pieces, collaborating with Mother Nature.
I prepared the papers with various materials out in the rain, continuing to add more marks as the rain washed some away and slowly evolved others. I placed leaves on the surface and walked away to remove my urging hands from making more modifications. After some time I returned them to my studio to dry which I then removed the leaves. Studying the marks, shapes and colours, I used what formed to guide how I would go in with drawing to finish the pieces. 

Visit @jessiebeard_art on instagram to see the process video.

‘Flannel’ 2024
30 x 30cm
acrylic, wax pastel, posca on polycotton

‘Fluoro flowering gum’ 2024
30 x 30cm
acrylic, wax pastel on polycotton

‘End of season wattle’ 2024
30 x 30cm
acrylic, wax pastel & posca on polycotton
SOLD