Backbone’s 2High Festival


Recently I was invited to be a mentor for budding visual arts directors as they plot, scheme and deliver Backbone Youth Arts’ 2High Festival in Brisbane next January 09 – 11.

The festival is a showcase of all that’s contemporary, collaborative, site-specific in the world of next gen creatives. Some of my good friends and fellow artists have explored new ideas in previous festivals and I value the…

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studio sessions … an invite.

Circumstances have collided to the point where I find myself smiling gleefully at the opportunity to dive into a three-month studio residency in the room next to my gallery,
M A R S on theGRID in Toowoomba, QLD.

The idea excites, calms + terrifies me … but I’ve confirmed a solo exhibition for January so will be working towards that.

In a bid to really make the most of this precious studio time,…

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ALL ages gigs in Toowoomba are almost exclusively chaotic, sweaty things for various types of hardcore, punk + pop punk bands playing to a packed house.

Bands include the hill on their national tours, local acts get up and support bigger, often international bands … a couple of years ago, gigs were every other month.

But lately more and more venues have been saying no;  Gigs are irregular, underground yet remain astoundingly attended.

 So why, if they’re so popular, are they so thin on the ground?

 Twenty-year-old photographer, Kirsten Butters wants more.

‘Music Seen’ is her first solo, photographic exhibition opening in the MARS gallery on theGRID, Friday September 05.

“I want to prove that the Toowoomba (all ages) music scene is not dead,” Butters said. “ I want to show that people are willing to come here and willing to play their music.”

“The scene is a tight community, a big group of friends,’ she explained. “As they’re not old enough to drive, regular trips to Brisbane are not viable and most of the gigs in Brisbane are 18+.

 “Local venues have cracked down on hosting these all ages gigs.”

Butters rounded up Brisbane pop-punk band, ‘The Lost Knights’ to perform at her exhibition opening. 

Band frontman is Jesse Luque, a USQ Creative Arts student majoring in music who commutes from Brisbane to Toowoomba for his studies.

Luque said Butters has been photographing the band for the past year, as well as his previous project, ‘Goodnight Midnight’ .

“She seems to be able to catch the moment and emotion really well.”

Of the challenges facing the all ages, hardcore scene on the hill, Luque said it’s a shame the actions of some affect the experience of many.


“Its just I think it just some kids display their emotions to the music differently to others.  

“But then at the same time, those select few who are doing that can spoil the event for others – cause like you said there aren’t anymore all ages bookings at your venue.”

With ‘Music Seen’ opening 7pm FRIDAY, September 05, Butters hopes the issues restricting all age, hardcore gigs to ‘every now and then’ can be addressed by punters, promoters + venues alike.

“Our scene missing all ages gigs – it’s missing the respect that it deserves because all this people come to these gigs …  and what else is there really to do in this town (in a live music sense)?

“The people that come are also missing the respect for the venues, organisers …”

JOIN US 7pm – 9pm FRIDAY, September 05 to open ‘Music Seen: a visual documentary of Toowoomba’s live music’. 

Cash bar, nibbles + The Lost Knights live set. 

MARS in on theGRID at Level 1, 488 Ruthven Street Toowoomba (Above Cotton On).

this project has received financial assistance from the Regional Arts Development Fund. The RADF is a QLD government initiative through an Arts Queensland and Toowoomba Regional Council partnership to support local arts + culture.




Fiona Cockfield’s weaved-porn struck a chord with the local art scene a little while ago.

Pornographic photos were transformed unrecognisably into works of contemporary art that found a home on the walls of the Toowoomba Biennial Emerging Artists’ Award Exhiibition at the local Regional Art Gallery.

The sublte hues of salmon, peach, pink, whites and whatnot revealed their juicy secrets upon closer expection … 

One day out from opening her next exhibition, ‘Lindeman Blue is the Colour of my Dreams’, this woman with a lot on her plate is still finishing up her works.

Cockfield invited us into her home for a sneak peak, some feta + avocado, I stepped in dog poo and frothed on the meticulousness of her work.

 “I’m excited about this exhibition because I like the work and that doesn’t always happen, “ Fiona said. “ It means a lot if you think the work is worthy of the ideas.”

Opening 7pm tomorrow night (FRI, August 08), ‘Lindeman Blue is the Colour of my Dreams’ explores how imagery can extend and/ or ultimately quash idealism and fantasy.

Cockfield will present painted, photographic + drawn works to the theme.

“I can’t really remember if there was a ‘ah ha’ moment. I think there was, a few months back but I’m not sure what sparked it. Probably when I was doing something really mundane. A lot of my best ideas come when I’m doing something physical and meditative, like sanding or painting.

“My mind wanders during these sorts of activities. It was great doing the paintings because I would put music on and think about the artworks, memories and my dreams. At times it could be a very emotional experience.’

She said that the ideas for this exhibition have been cooking for a while now.

As she and her young daughter keep in touch with, plan visits + shared futures with Cockfield’s partner in Chile, the notions of ‘imagine space’ + reality are often on her mind.

“Although I probably had some sort of epiphany, the ideas for this body of work have been formulating for quite a while. I have always been interested in the relationship between imagined space and ‘reality’.

“When I was in Canada and Chile, but Canada in particular, I had to use my journal a lot more because it is the only way to record thoughts and experiences and of course travelling inspires creative thoughts.

“A lot of this information was processed when I came back …  going over the ideas, sketches and photographs.”

 A large part of Cockfield’s studio practice ebbs and flows off music as she gets to it, so the artist has compiled a mixtape for you, that fuelled the creation of her show.

 “… Music always represents a lot about thoughts and feelings and because this is such a personalised body of work, the music is highly relevant, “ she said.

‘Lindeman Blue is the Colour of My Dreams’ opens 7pm FRIDAY, August 08 at M A R S on theGRID: hybrid arts collective, Lvl 1, 488 Ruthven Street Toowoomba.

OneWALL gallery space will feature the airbrush works of Wayne Ogden in ‘Old to New’.

Both exhibitions are on show until SEPTEMBER 03.

USQ Creative Arts Honors Graduate, traveller + mother Fiona COCKFIELD presents ‘Lindeman blue is the colour of my dreams’. 
An exploration of fantasies and how they’re lifted, shaped and occassionally quashed by imagery, this exhibition features COCKFIELD’s immaculate paintings, drawings and photography.JOIN US FRIDAY, August 08 from 7pm for the official opening.
Cash bar // nibbles // all welcome
  • Camera: iPhone 4S
  • Aperture: f/2.4
  • Exposure: 1/60th
  • Focal Length: 4mm

USQ Creative Arts Honors Graduate, traveller + mother Fiona COCKFIELD presents ‘Lindeman blue is the colour of my dreams’. 

An exploration of fantasies and how they’re lifted, shaped and occassionally quashed by imagery, this exhibition features COCKFIELD’s immaculate paintings, drawings and photography.

JOIN US FRIDAY, August 08 from 7pm for the official opening.

Cash bar // nibbles // all welcome


Nikon-Walkley Press Photography Exhibition
6PM - 8PM

We’re excited to get the 250kg crate of images any day now to begin installing this beast.

Join us to officially open this exhibition of some of Australia’s best working photographers, from 6PM - 8PM this Friday.

Cash bar // nibbles/ Floor Talk by previous Walkley Photography Award winner, Nev Madsen.

'The First Day at Sea', Barat Ali Batoor, The Global Mail.