She passed away three years ago, but the memory of Michael Walker’s mother is never far from his mind.
The Aveo Durack resident spoke lovingly of his mother, Leonie, at the launch of a dedicated display of her artwork at Aveo Springfield yesterday and said it was upon their return from Washington DC in 1975 that she painted most of her pictures.
“My dad was a diplomat and to give herself something to do, she went and learned Chinese brush painting, so most of the art work here today are what you could call her studies,” Michael said.
“My mum learned from a very good Chinese artist in America and that’s how she learned this technique.
“Most of these paintings she did once we were back in Sydney where she was teaching art, plus she also used to paint on china as well, so she did quite a few things.”
The art expo is the first public display of Mrs Walker’s art and Michael said she would have been terribly embarrassed by all the fuss.
“My mother was a very private person and didn’t think she was good enough, so one of the reasons she gave it up was because she had arthritis in her hands and knew her technique wasn’t as good as it should be, so she went on to other things,” he said.
“When my mum passed away I acquired a lot of the art work she never framed or used as training items, so I thought what am I going to do with them and spoke with the head of the art group at Aveo Durack and she said they were too good to just sit in a room.
“We therefore decided to hold an art display at Aveo Durack and now we are presenting her work here.”
Around 80 people attended the launch of the art expo yesterday and Aveo Springfield community sales consultant Rebecca Carlow said the event was a great opportunity to share the talents of their residents with the broader community.
“Aveo has a resident population of 13,000 people and in amongst that we have some really talented people,” Mrs Carlow said.
“This was an opportunity to showcase what our residents are still actively doing outside of the village and invite the community to come enjoy and respect that.”
Aveo Durack and Springfield integrated retirement manager Richard Fahy said Aveo had a very active arts community and hoped to continue to hold such events into the future.
“This has been a great springboard for this art work to be displayed and recognised and we’re actually looking to have this as a touring piece,”Mr Fahy said.
“Because Michael’s mother was an art teacher we will be inviting some of the schools to come in and see the works and it’s a real opportunity for people to come and appreciate her work.
“I’ve been really surprised and happy just how much this art work display has initiated this type of social activity.”
Federal Member for Oxley MP Milton Dick and Labor candidate for the seat of Jordan Charis Mullen were both in attendance and said they would look into the possibility of creating a yearly event dedicated to up and coming artists.
“I would like to explore the option of an event that showcases emerging artists on an annual basis,” Mr Dick said.
The Aveo Art Expo featuring Leonie Walker’s Chinese inspired artwork will be displayed at Aveo Springfield for the month of October.
For more information, visit the Aveo Durack web page or call 1800 316 940