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Community & Business

15 March, 2023

Collecting dust

Learn about the background behind Rosalie Gallery’s latest art exhibition ‘Collecting Dust’ by Toowoomba artist Alex Stalling.

‘The Collecting Dust’ exhibit is kid-friendly and features some interactive displays.

This month, Rosalie Gallery features a colourful and kid-friendly interactive exhibition by Toowoomba artist Alex Stalling. 

The title of the exhibition, ‘Collecting Dust’ refers to works Alex has produced purely for the purposes of creating art over the last couple of years - works that have been ‘collecting dust’ in Alex’s house. 

To honour the bird-themed collection, Alex has collaborated with the Rosalie Gallery to share the pieces with the community.

“This is the culmination of a couple of years worth of pieces I’ve been working on in my studio that I decided it was about time to put on the walls of a gallery and Rosalie was a great space to do that,” she said. 

“I get really hyperfixated on different representational elements and.... I’ve always resonated with birds.”

During the public opening of the exhibit on Saturday, Alex explained that for her, birds had been a comfort during her teenage years.

“I was surrounded by fifty-odd ducklings as a child and whenever I feel most comfortable is when I’m surrounded by birds,” she said.

The exhibit features a collection of works, all of which are birds, which are painted in bright, eye-catching colours. 

“I am fascinated with colours that are neon, bright and for some people, a bit triggering, right now a lot of pinks and neon oranges,” Alex says. 

“There’s other colours that I won’t work with so I can understand the discomfort that some people  might feel.”

The impetus for the exhibit came from Jacaranda Day last year, where Alex worked with the Rosalie Gallery, to which she brought sculptures of birds for children to colour-in with chalk. 

One of the birds, a jabiru is present at this exhibit, which is targeted at kids as well as adults.

“For me, I think art needs to have an element where people can be involved with it, particularly with children,” Alex said.

“We tend to hang art above their eyeline, so for me it was important to bring things to their level, so having things lower, like colouring-in the jabiru with chalk and interacting with the puzzle-pieces, so they can build their own structures.

“I have two children - both in school, and they are little champions. They come to everything, they know the drill, and they’re a real source of inspiration for me.”

Alex cops some light stick for her avian-themed works with the people she works with at Tinker - the arts studio of which she is the founder.

“It’s a workshops studio and we have a wide-ranging demographic of different people.

“We have a whole range of different classes, which helps widen who can have access to the arts.”

In her work, Alex is supported by her partner Aaron, who is her main assistant. 

“He’s the man behind the scenes that does the construction and makes things happen,”  she said. 

“I feel like if people come to this exhibit, they may be confronted with pink, art doesn’t have to be something we look at, it can be something that we interact with as well. 

Collecting Dust is being exhibited until 2nd April at Rosalie Gallery.

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