Dream Big: Emerging Creatives Lab

The ‘Dream Big: Emerging Creative Lab’ by Flame.Arts is only a week away. This session will focus on personal branding and raising your profile with seasoned industry professionals.

NorthSite’s Communication Officer, Jamie Clarke will be presenting alongside musician LT (Leanne Tennant) and Angelo Saliba with Anthea Saliba from Bang Media.

If you’re an emerging creative dreaming of making it in the arts join this free interactive session.

Price: Free
When: Thursday, 21 March 2024
Duration: 6pm-8pm
Location: Tank 4, Tanks Arts Centre | 46 Collins Ave, Edge Hill QLD 4870


Facilitator: Sharon Timms (Creative Life, Cairns Regional Council)
Presenters: LT (Leanne Tennant, Musician), Angelo Saliba and Anthea Saliba (Bang Media) and Jamie Clarke (NorthSite Contemporary Arts)

Selina Kudo | Australian Photobook Awards

Ahead of the Photobook workshop this Saturday, Cairns-based Artist Selina Kudo has been shortlisted for the 2024 Australian & New Zealand Photobook Awards.

Facilitated by Photo Collective in partnership with Photo Australia the 2024 Australian & New Zealand Photobook Awards will be announced on the 23rd of March, 2024 at the Photobook Weekend as part of the PHOTO 2024 International Festival of Photography in Melbourne. All shortlisted photobooks will be on display including Selina’s Photobook ‘As I Was Searching [For Another]’.

Congratulations Selina!


Workshop in Cairns | Selina Kudo: Moments in Monochrome

Exhibition at NorthSite | Selina Kudo: Conversations with My Barista (Real or Imagined)

2024 Australian and New Zealand Photobook Awards

Photo Collective

As I Was Searching [For Another] | Bad News Books

The Back and Front cover of a photobook with gold writing. On the front is the text 'Selina Kudo' and the back 'As I Was Searching [For Another]' and 'Bad News Books'

Image courtesy the artist.

IWD | Pressing Topics

This International Women’s Day (IWD) we are celebrating the incredible powerhouse duo, The Ironing Maidens.

The Ironing Maidens, led by Cairns-based Artists Melania Jack and Patty Preece, is an experimental art duo turning domestic objects into electronic instruments to explore themes of gender, domestic labour and technology. In 2022, The Ironing Maidens presented their exhibition ‘Pressing Topics‘ in the NorthSite galleries at Bulmba-ja.

This multi-media installation of projection, sculpture, digital collage, video and sound was a low fi wonderland that smashed pink, Pop and the industrial into a new and playful aesthetic. The work disrupts the ideal proposition of the perfect housewife or the perfect domestic worker and aims to elevate and confront historical and ongoing contemporary issues of discrimination in the domestic labour force.

More recently, The Ironing Maidens have delivered the immersive and interactive performance experience ‘Hot & Heavy’: A speculative fabulation. A non-binary, de-capitalised, de-colonised, de-extinction future imagining.

Where to after NorthSite
Since presenting their exhibition ‘Pressing Topics‘ at NorthSite, The Ironing Maidens work has been presented at IWD Canada – Victoria Society of the Arts in 2023. Later this year they will be exhibiting at ISEA (International Symposium of Electronic Art) in Meanjin / Brisbane.

View the ‘Pressing Topics’ Exhibition at NorthSite

Visit The Ironing Maidens

Pressing Topics. An installation by The Ironing Maidens.

Artisan’s emerging regional Queensland artist residency

An artist wearing earmuffs and safety glasses and is sanding a block. They wear a red cardigan and a bright yellow apron with hair tied in a pony tail. Text in the top left corner reads 'artisan residency program'.

Applications are closing soon for Artisan’s emerging regional Queensland artist residency.

This Brisbane-based residency offers you a career-changing opportunity to immerse yourself completely in your art – with all expenses covered for up to six weeks. Open to all craft and design practitioners. The program includes:

  • Travel, accommodation, living costs and material expenses for up to 6 weeks
  • Mentoring and career development
  • Vocational training
  • A curated exhibition at artisan

But don’t wait, apply now! Submissions close on 20 February 2024.

For full information and to apply, visit https://artisan.org.au/pages/artisan-residency-program-queensland-2024

Please note that the Artisan’s emerging regional Queensland artist residency is not associated with NorthSite Contemporary Arts and this is general information.

Planetary Gestures travels to Melbourne

Planetary Gestures was exhibited at NorthSite Contemporary Arts earlier this year. Curated by Tess Maunder, the exhibition explores ideas surrounding ecological systems, ancient knowledge, celestial blueprints and tidal movements across the land, sea and sky known as Australasia, part of the wider Asia­-Pacific and the ‘Great Ocean’. The exhibition includes work by artists Amrita Hepi, Susie Losch, Raqs Media Collective, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Jimmy John Thaiday and Trevor Yeung.

We’re thrilled to see Planetary Gestures touring to Walker Street Gallery and Arts Centre in Dandenong, Melbourne. The opening preview is this Saturday, 23 September from 2PM-4PM with the exhibition running until 3 November 2023.

Location: Walker Street Gallery and Arts Centre, Cnr Walker and Robinson streets, Dandenong
Opening Hours: Tues-Fri 12pm – 4pm
Exhibition runs from 26 SEPTEMBER 2023 until 3 NOVEMBER 2023



Artists’ Residency

NorthSite will host four senior artists from Moa Arts during a month-long residency at NorthSite Art Studios. David Bosun, Solomon Booth, Fiona Mosby and Paula Savage will be participating in a series of intensive printmaking sessions through September and October 2023 to develop new works.

During the residency, these four senior artists will be preparing new works for an exhibition at Tarnanthi in Adelaide later this year as well as two international exhibitions planned for 2024 and 2025. This is an exciting time for these artists who are looking forward to getting into the print studio alongside Moa Arts long-term printmaking facilitator Dian Darmansjah from Firebox Studios.

This year David Bosun, Solomon Booth, Fiona Mosby and Paula Savage displayed work in the CIAF2023 satellite exhibition ‘Malu Bardthar Dapar | Sea Land Sky’ at NorthSite Contemporary Arts. We’re excited to welcome them into NorthSite Art Studios and continue to follow their success.

2023 Queensland Regional Art Awards

The Queensland Regional Art Awards (QRAA) is an annual visual arts prize and exhibition for established and emerging artists living in regional and remote Queensland hosted by Flying Arts Alliance.

This year the highly anticipated regional art awards offer a record prize pool of over $140,000. The theme for the 2023 QRAA is Perspective, calling artists to enter work which considers the concept of perspective in its many facets, viewpoints and nuances. The theme plays on a term known in the visual arts and relevant to our modern society, reflecting different individual and collective viewpoints and opinions, stemming from varying life-experiences, perceptions, understandings, memories and emotions. Flying Arts Alliance is looking for stimulating entries that address this broad concept through the visual arts and share story-telling that extends notions of individual and collective perspective.

Call for Entries

The 2023 Queensland Regional Art Awards are now open, with artists from across Queensland living outside the Brisbane City Council boundary encouraged to apply for the prestigious visual arts competition.

Click Here to Enter

Key Dates

11 August, 4pm AEST — Entries open
6 October, 4pm AEST — Entries close
24-29 November — Finalists exhibited at Judith Wright Arts Centre
24 November — Winners Announced at Gala Reception

Award Categories Include

‘Art for Life’ Award
Total prize pool of $40,000.

The Mervyn Moriarty Landscape Award
Total prize pool of $28,900.

First Nations Artist Award
Total prize pool of $15,000.

Remote Artist Award
Total prize pool of $15,000.

Emerging Artist Award
Total prize pool of $15,000.

Environmental Art Award
Total prize pool of $15,000.

A text based image with the text "Queensland Regional Art Awards Responding to the theme perspective. Total prize pool over $140,000 across 10 award categories. Enter Now. 2023 QRAA. Hosted by Flying Arts Alliance inc. Connecting Queensland to the arts".

Image courtesy of Flying Arts Alliance INC

Free Studio Access, Express Your Interest!

NorthSite is excited to announce our new Studio Access Program for local Artists. The first program will launch at the end of October and run until early December 2023. We welcome emerging, mid-career and established practising artists, looking for studio space, to express interest in applying for the program.

On Tuesday 12th September NorthSite, will hold an information session to answer any questions about the program.

Information Session Details
Date: Tuesday 12th September
Time: 3pm – 5pm
Location: NorthSite art studios – 55 Greenslopes street, Edge Hill
Join us: https://events.humanitix.com/northsite-art-studios-public-access-information-session

About the opportunity:
Free Studio Access

  • Three studio spaces: Main Studio, Print Studio and Printing Shed
  • Dates: 23 October 2023 until 5 December 2023 (first season)
  • 3hr time slots (morning/afternoon) Monday and Tuesdays
  • Location: 55 Greenslopes Street, Edge Hill, 4870

Who can apply

  • Emerging, mid-career, and established practicing artists
  • Priority will be given to artists who have an active project


  • The artist must have their own public liability to the value of $20mil please check Nava for rates and discount insurance.
  • The artist must supply their own materials; equipment such as the printing press can be requested upon request.

Additional Information

  • There are no storage facilities available for any work to remain onsite
  • All materials and artwork you own must be removed from the site at the end of each session
  • NorthSite Art Studios is a shared co-working space
  • Successful applicants are required to undergo an induction into the studio space
  • The Printing Shed is only available on request,. and to artists that are screen printing and/or creating large scale work

If you have any further questions feel free to get in contact with programs@northsite.org.au


Claudine Marzik’s Undara Paintings

Words: Ross Searle

The opportunity to write about Claudine Marzik’s impressive art practice is indeed a pleasure. On first seeing her work I was impressed by its refined but energetic gestural mark-making that appeared to contain a language that was both familiar but unique in the way that it responded to the particularities of the ‘northern’ seasonal environment. She is perhaps best known for a series of paintings relating to the seasons which reference the dynamics of seasonal and changing weather patterns from quite subtle shifts to extreme conditions that have major impacts on the land. The sense of ‘familiarity’ I first recognised in her painterly gesture in the early 1990s no doubt relates to the influences of ‘gestural’ abstraction that found its place in American and European painting after World War II. A process and not a movement, it continues to be shaped by European artists such as Gerhard Richter and Australians Aida Tomescu, Ildiko Kovacs and of course, Claudine Marzik.

Her capacity to encapsulate the intensity of the environment of northern Australia has been noted by writers Gavin Wilson who observed; ‘her work reaches deep into her emotional reserves to construct images that suggests states of mind’1 and Ingrid Hoffman who wrote about the impact of knowing the landscape that ‘comes out of time spent discerning the morphology of plants and their distilled colour, their intricate prickliness, their smooth shapes, their grace and vulnerability’.2 This ability to zoom in and out of the landscape to see it not only in terms of its parts but also as a system that communicates an emotional state is intriguing.

Recent projects include The Body Language of Plants which came about from working with materials collected as part of herbarium specimens. The science-art nexus continues with the current exhibition.

This new body of work relates to the Undara Volcanic National Park, a unique geological site she first visited in 2017. ‘Undara’ is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘long way’. The park protects a system of 190,000-year-old lava tube caves, the longest in the world. Located 264 km south-west of Cairns, they are the result of an eruption, spewing molten lava over the surrounding landscape. The lava flowed rapidly down dry riverbeds with the top, outer layer cooling and forming a crust, while the molten lava below drained outwards, leaving behind a series of hollow tubes.

An almost autonomous natural ecosystem, Claudine was captivated by the cave-system of the lava tubes and the depositions on the cave ceilings and walls. Drawing ideas from earlier visits and a recent residency supported by Discovery Holiday Parks through Undara Experience, resulted in a new series of work. With each visit she took photographs and did onsite drawings, made notes, and compiled a visual lexicon of the site – an iterative process that allowed her to hone her ideas and images. In recent years, artists like Claudine have adopted a profusion of methods, practices, and experiences to enhance the interface between the visual arts and environmental-scientific concerns. In Claudine’s case, she has made an especial study of the morphology and topography of Undara.

The sensation of being in a submerged environment with its dark corners and surprising patches of light that break through the ceilings is manifested in the tonal gradients she employs in the paintings on canvas and paper for this exhibition. The palette she employs is influenced by the various minerals in the caves including basalt, iron oxide and calcium carbonate. The underlining minerals reveal tones of red, yellow, and green contrasting with the black rock basalt intrusions, the lighter toned calcium carbonate and richer iron oxide. A recurring compositional device that is used in several of the paintings is a doorway shape, as if looking out from the darkness of the cave into the light. We see this clearly in the large paintings which alternate between looking into the caves and out into the open. Claudine reflects that ‘being inside the cave looking towards the exit which can be seen about 50 meters away, is a captivating view. It releases emotions (and) it’s like a sensation of new life and hope. Back to safety, back to the known from the unknown, back to the light from the dark. Back from the cold to the warm.’3

The exhibition has been grouped to reinforce compositional ideas based on the geological forms, surface patterns, depositions, graffiti, and textures that appear on walls and ceilings. Far from being a static environment, natural formations from the speleothem deposits continue to accumulate to form subtle new layers not unlike some of the paintings which are worked and layered like strata. Some of the artworks are tightly framed views of the deposition of minerals on the tube walls and ceiling as if looking through a photographic lens which at once makes everything equally comparable without a reference point.

Undara is the perfect place for her to test new approaches to the landscape. In Claudine’s hands her artworks possess a tight undulant pattern reminiscent of natural surfaces found in this unique landscape. The effect of this is to make the texture not only closer to that of the actual cave surfaces but also to overcome of what Gerhard Richter suggests is the over importance of edges and borders; to make everything equal and allow the viewer’s brain to impose its own structure on the artwork.4 Her way of working at Undara was to create sets of visual references and once in the studio this material was used to create this series of works that reference her macro-micro responses to surface textures, dramatic geological intrusions, and mineral accretions. Although some works contain a complex layering of paint pattern and form, in general there is a looseness in the shapes and forms and a more free, spontaneous approach.5 It is a thrilling body of work.

Words: Ross Searle

1 Gavin Wilson, Country and western landscape re-imagined, exhibition catalogue, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville, 2015, p 40.
2 Ingrid Hoffman, Seed to seed, exhibition catalogue, KickArts Contemporary Arts, Cairns, 2012.
3 Claudine Marzik email to author, 7 August 2023
4 Misha Ketchell, Nature makes abstract visual art more captivating. The conversation, March 25, 2014
5 Claudine Marzik, ibid


Artists’ selected for Cairns Festival ‘Reef Lights’

Part of Cairns Festival 2023, ‘Reef Lights – Where The Rainforest Meets The Reef‘ will illuminate the Cairns Esplanade from this Friday (25 August) until Sunday 3 September showing from 6.30pm – 10.00pm each night.

NorthSite was thrilled to assist in selecting Artists from Far North Queensland to be part of the outdoor light show for 2023. A special congratulations to all the incredible Artists’ involved: Leanne Hardy, Brian Robinson, Billy Missi, Robert Tommy Pau, Gertie Tomsana, Betty Sykes, Elverina Johnson, Joel Sam, Margaret Mara, Matilda Nona and Peter B Morrison.

Reef Lights – Where The Rainforest Meets The Reef‘ is an immersive outdoor light experience inspired by the unique tropical environment of Far North Queensland. Guests will experience a ‘watershow’ with lasers and lights at the Cairns Lagoon, a myriad of artworks projected along the footpaths and enchanting soundscapes.


Reef Lights is a project by Cairns Regional Council and Laservision. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Festivals Australia program. This project was made possible by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, which supports the arts in regional and remote Australia.

An artwork projected on the floor with a person standing in the background. Projected lights are blue and green.

Joel Sam’s artwork projection for Reef Lights. Image courtesy of Laservision.