Arts and Culture

Drawn to imperfection

Artist Profile: Gina Davey

Artist Profile: Gina Davey

Story: Christina Ongley. Photos: Cody Fox

Gina Davey has felt two constant aches throughout her life – a persistent kinship with her English roots and an unswerving yearning to be an artist.

Both have ebbed away since deciding to call Maryborough home 12 years ago.

The visual artist – who works mostly with oil, charcoal and mixed media – first enrolled in art college at 15, but life, family and a series of misfortunes got in the way for a couple of decades.

“All of a sudden I was 36 and I thought, ‘I haven’t had my art career yet’,” says Gina, now 63.

Much of her skill and style developed while she isolated herself on a property in Kingaroy for a few years with a dogged determination to paint.

But a few visits to the Mary Poppins and SteamFest festivals, and the now-closed Janet’s Art Books, convinced her that the Mary River city was the right place for her life and her art – and she’s never looked back.

“Ever since I was a child, I never felt like I belonged – until I came to Maryborough. Then I felt at home,” she says. “It was also here that I found my love of portraiture, which really is my thing.”

Gina now counts among her achievements several solo and joint exhibitions, and a painting of former federal Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss that was entered into the famed Archibald Prize.

These days it’s not uncommon to find her stalking interesting-looking strangers at local festivals and asking them to sit for her.

“It’s usually because the light hits them in a certain way and it just grabs me,” she says.

“I’m fascinated by light, shade and colour, and people’s unique features – skin tones, ears, noses.

“I always find it horrible to think that people believe they have to conform to a certain look. I’m drawn to imperfection – it’s more interesting.”  

Was this page helpful?