From a young age, local West End artist Georgina Hooper knew she had a passion for art.

Originally from Rockhampton, Georgina struggled to find a place where she felt comfortable. “I was a vegetarian from the age of 10 in the beef capital of Australia and my love for animals and nature seemed out of place with the people around me.”

When she was 17, Georgina made the move to Brisbane to pursue her career studying Fine Arts at Griffith University. In 2015, she rented a room — which is now her studio — in a beautiful historic house in West End. Originally horse stables, the Jane Street house contains a room with an original Chubb volt where she stores some of her work.

“Jane Street was a share house [with] residents [who] were all rock climbers. When I heard there was a room available I jumped on it. It was a brilliant place to live with wonderful people and it just happened to have a perfect space for a studio below!”

Georgina feels at home in the buzzing suburb of West End and has found a community of like-minded people.

“Working in a creative field is a very unique profession and here in West End I am surrounded by musicians, filmmakers, photographers, writers, and people and friends who I run into all the time.”

Throughout her career as an artist, the creative process has taught Georgina a lot about self-development, but also about other people and cultures. Her current work is practice-led research that combines Eastern art practices with Western theoretical concepts that reflect her personal life.

“My husband is Chinese and my creative practice has been a bridge towards understanding his way of thinking but also more significantly a process towards self-understanding.”

In October 2017, Onespace Gallery held Georgina’s solo exhibition Liminal Space. The exhibition showcased abstract paintings of landscape and experiences of the natural world. The technique behind Liminal Space was derived from Georgina’s time invested as a research scholar at Tianjin University in 2010. She spent time learning traditional Chinese landscape painting under the mentorship of art professor and artist Dong Ya.

“[The] experience was a huge inspiration for my current practice.” Her abstract landscape paintings are created in oil on linen and delicate ink and watercolour on rice paper using traditional Chinese techniques, which allowed Georgina to work in confidence. “Working with rice paper means that every mark is permanent and unchangeable. There is no room for over thinking in this practice. This result is a more truthful and alive kind of artwork.”

Georgina’s next exhibition, Yique (Chinese for the gate of the Yi River) will be staged from 15 February to 7 April (starts on Chinese New Year) at Chung Tian Art Gallery, in the Chung Tian Buddhist Temple at Priestdale. The exhibit was inspired by her trip to China’s Longmen Grottoes with her father in 2010, the home of thousands of Buddha statues.
Georgina will be travelling to Japan later in 2018, with her husband and daughter to continue her practice-led research with porcelain ceramic. She is looking forward to seeing where this art practice takes her and hopes to one day see her art at the Asia Pacific Triennial.

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