Coast artists White Ribbon exhibition

THE journey of the emotional and mental struggles of two Fraser Coast artists will be portrayed in a "continuation exhibition".

Susie Lewis and Hayley Groves George will open their Battlefield exhibition at the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery on Friday night.

Battlefield portrays the artists' experiences with domestic violence.

Their initial exhibition was held in January at Gatakers Artspace.

Maryborough artist Hayley said this exhibition would show a different side to their stories.

"Susie and I are in a much better place now and so we are more portraying that," she said.

"We have got pieces from the first Battlefield exhibition and so we are telling the story travelling out the other side, 18 months later.

Maryborough artist Hayley Groves George was pictured showing her journey from domestic violence victim to warrior of courage and hope.
Maryborough artist Hayley Groves George was pictured showing her journey from domestic violence victim to warrior of courage and hope. Photo courtesy of Adam Marlow

"We have got paintings, installation, video and photography - a real mixture."

Hayley said the final piece she completed was of a painted cow skull with sunflowers over the top of it.

"What I want it to represent was even though you got the remnants of that past relationship, the broken bones, you have got new germination coming over the top to heal you, make it nice and happy again.

"And sunflowers, they are a happy flower."

The idea for the exhibition started when both artists were talking about their experiences with domestic violence and how they were not going to be victims.

They found it natural to express themselves through their art and decided to shine a light on the subject.

The Hervey Bay exhibition has become a White Ribbon event with support from the charity and merchandise will be on sale.

"The White Ribbon campaigners have fully supported our event and have been advertising it through their own media and online," Hayley said.

"For us it was more of that extra touch to give back and to make awareness that they are there if anybody needs them."

Last year, one of their digital media pieces, called The Known Enemy, which will be on display in the Hervey Bay exhibition, won a national art prize in Gladstone.

Both artists have created their own pieces and collaborated in several works of art including three videos.

"It's always me in the video, Susie is the director," Hayley said.

"Our latest piece was to drag a mattress down to the beach and set it alight but the day of the filming it was pouring rain.

"As I got to the beach lifting this heavy mattress I said to Susie we can't set this alight, this is our cleanse."

Another cleansing experience was a photo shoot with Adam Marlow which involved Hayley covering herself with watery clay.

"As I was doing that process it was a very therapeutic experience for me in a sense that I could kind of hide behind the clay and go back to that horrible place but then be able to wash that clay off and just leave it there. We called it Our Hero Image," she said.

The pair plans to raffle one of the pieces and donate the funds to the domestic violence cause.


Battlefield will open at the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery, 166 Old Maryborough Rd on Friday, October 27 at 6pm. It will run until December 3.

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