By HARRY CLARKE
ON A night when the Western Downs community’s artistic talents were celebrated, one of the region’s proudest artistic exports was honoured with one of his stunning works being donated to his home town gallery.
The Western Downs Regional Artists’ Exhibition is now on display at Chinchilla’s Lapunyah Art Gallery, showcasing the best visual work from artists living throughout the region.
The theme is ‘Anthropocene Epoch’ which “denotes an unofficial unit of geological time when human activity started to have a significant impact on the planet’s climate and ecosystem”.
Among the vibrant and varied works are award-winning entries from categories such as painting, 3D work, photography and people’s choice.
At the exhibition’s official opening, former longterm Chinchilla resident Brian Littleproud, who served as the state member for the former seat of Western Downs for 18 years, donated an artwork by acclaimed local artist Anthony “Boy” Turnbull.
Mr Littleproud and his wife Peta, now based in Toowoomba, purchased the artwork in 2016 while it as being displayed at the Lupunyah gallery.
Mr Littleproud said he wanted to return the artwork as thanks to the community in which he spent his formative years.
“I remember walking in at the exhibition and on the right hand side was this painting that took my attention,” Brian Littleproud said.
“Then I looked and saw that it was by Boy Turnbull. I realised that that young boy went to school here and thought it would be nice to acknowledge a local artist.
“It fit a couple of bills – first of all it would pay a tribute to young Turnbull, and number two, Peta and I could give it to the art gallery.
“It’s been great to come back to see this unveiled, and I’m pleased that the people of the gallery have now got it in their hands. It will be here forever for the people of Chinchilla.”
Boy Turnbull grew up in Chinchilla but is now based in Oakey, according to Black Ink Press.
He is an acclaimed artist and author whose mother’s tribal homeland is Mithika in Western Queensland. His father’s tribal area is Bigumbul in Southern Queensland.
David Littleproud, federal member for Maranoa, officially opened the regional artists exhibition and said he was proud to be in attendance with his own sons while his father donated the Boy Turnbull piece.
“This community has given so much to the Littleproud family and it’s great that we’re able to leave something here that preserves our precious indigenous heritage,” David Littleproud said.
“It pays tribute to our traditional owners and this is a great depiction of their heritage and culture, and a visual representation of them being here for thousands of years.
“It’s something that we can be proud of, that we can all come and share together.”
David Littleproud will be in Stanthorpe this afternoon to announce $2.1 million in federal government funding to expand the Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery.