By Nahrel Dallywater
Paintings by Bindoon local, Billie Peka, were centre stage at the recent exhibition, ‘In Full Bloom’ at the Midland Junction Arts Centre as part of a series of vibrant interpretations of the natural environment created by world-renowned artist Jacqueline Coates and selected graduates of her ‘Blooms’ workshops from Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.
Billie’s art explores diverse subject matter ranging from flowers and birds to portraiture and she shares a timeless fascination of natural flora with painters from Fantin Latour to Monet and Georgia O’Keefe. Of the workshops, Jacqueline said, “Students discover the microcosm of the flower and how to transform stunning, theatrical landscapes of colour, light and form into large-scale works of art.” Attending the workshops has extended Billie’s painting skills, adding a new dynamism to her works.
Billie has always been creative, winning many art competitions in New Zealand as a child, in later years enjoying limestone sculpting and most recently pursuing her love of painting. She finds inspiration from her family and the landscape and people of the Northern Valleys. From her kitchen studio at home, alike her floral art, Billie’s artistic career is beginning to bloom.
Last year, she was awarded first prize for Acrylic Portrait at the St Luke’s Anglican Church Easter Art Competition in Gingin and in 2016 was invited to contribute to the “Violet Femmes” exhibition in 2016 at Fremantle’s Kidogo Art House.
Billie’s paintings regularly feature on the walls of the Bindoon Bakehaus where they can be purchased. Last week, two of her paintings from the In Full Bloom exhibition were hung and one sold the next day.
Billie said, “I am thankful to the locals who have travelled to both Midland and Fremantle for the exhibitions. I’m currently focussed on painting pieces to exhibit at the Chittering Spring Flower Festival in September. I’ll also be doing more specialised workshops to extend skills in my genre.”