Counterparts Artist Information

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As a collection, Rockhampton Art Gallery’s acquisitions disproportionately represent male artists, yet statistics show the demographic of living practitioners primarily consist of women.  In response to these statistics, Rockhampton Art Gallery sourced through an Expression Of Interest process 6 women artists from the Central Queensland region to participate in the Counterparts exhibition and internship. Assessed against an industry criteria, these artists through Counterparts are bringing to light new stories and ideas relevant to the political framework of 2019, creating a platform for a variety of voices to contribute to breaking down institutional gender representation as highlighted by the Countess Report (2016). 

The Counterparts artists are: 


Amber Countryman 

Amber Countryman is a Central Queensland based artist, best known for her meaningful public artworks and installations created from discarded materials.  A student of Visual Arts at CQ University, Amber draws inspiration from the living world and current environmental concerns.  She approaches environmental issues with a strong emotional narrative, confronting her audience visually.  Amber’s artworks appeal to the empathy of the audience making them conscious of environmental events that affect us all.  Thought provoking and raw, her unique offerings create awareness through bold messages.  Fuelled by the desire to make a positive change to our environment, she remains driven to bring into focus an awareness that we are all part of the solution.

Within her larger practice Amber has begun to research other social issues that she feels strongly about through her observations as a female and a nurturer, including the human presence in the urban environment and to challenge perceptions of self.  Amber continues her path of self-discovery as an evolving artist continuing to explore both 2D and 3D techniques to express her message.

 More information regarding Amber's practice can be found here



Veronika Zeil 

Veronika Zeil was born in 1967 in Garmisch–Partenkirchen, Germany.  She is a self-taught artist and has created paintings, drawings, sculptures, and mosaics for most of her life. She graduated in 2013 with a Masters of Visual Art from Monash University.

Her practice predominantly explores society’s psychological relationship to surroundings, the unstable interface of nature and culture, human frailty and search for place. The works journey from the seemingly mundane, to a discovery of the lyrical in our everyday life. Often whimsical in manifestation, Zeil’s art takes on deeply personal themes as well as the universal. Zeil exhibits widely in solo and group exhibitions and her work is currently included in the collections of regional art galleries, Central Queensland University Rockhampton, and private Australian and international collections.

 More information regarding Veronika's practice can be found here


Anitha Menon

Anitha Menon began pursuing her passion for visual art after moving to Australia in 2015. As a homemaker primarily, Menon is a self-taught artist. Her house and the objects associated with it have become a major influence in her art practice and she is compelled to portray a home maker's perspective.

With a background in Education and Literature, Menon’s art practice is embedded with symbolism, references to poetry and conceptual frameworks. Working mainly within the still-life painting genre, she infuses everyday inanimate objects with deeper meaning to explore the relationship between things and people. Investigating the dichotomy of migration and domesticity, Menon’s works are a journey of self-discovery and an exploration into ordinary items which constitute our existence.

Menon has exhibited in Rockhampton Art Gallery’s The Bayton Award 2017 group exhibition, Merilyn Luck and the Contemporary Art Awards as an online solo show.

More information regarding Anitha's practice can be found here


 Michelle Black 

With a foundation in urban and graphic design, Michelle Black has always had a passion and talent for visual mediums. When Black moved to the Capricorn Coast in 2006, she enrolled in printmaking courses at TAFE and became a foundation member of the Capricornia Printmakers Inc.

2018 saw Michelle experimenting with techniques including monoprinting with Fitzroy River mud in a body of work investigating historical flooding in Rockhampton, as well as the creation of several artist books. Enjoying a looser and more spontaneous way of working, Black plans to continue experimenting with monoprint, collagraph, alternative lithographic processes and other printmaking techniques that offer a less rigid way of working as well as exploring interesting artist book forms and alternative ‘out of the frame’ techniques. Environment, family history and travel often serve as inspiration for Michelle. 

She has worked on a variety of art projects, including several collaborations on ephemeral public art installations for Rockhampton events. Michelle has exhibited widely in group exhibitions in Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast and has works held in the Rockhampton Art Gallery collection. 

More information regarding Michelle's practice can be found here


Emma Ward

Living and working in the Rockhampton Region, Emma Ward is an early career artist whose practice is focused upon still-life and portraiture painting genres. Employing a feminine and semi-realistic style, Ward creates detail in her work through a combination of lightly glazed backgrounds and sharp foreground rendering. Using her brush to express personal connections to subject, Ward aims to navigate her own ever-changing emotional landscape, inspired by imagination, self-doubt and memory.

Ward’s recent still life series has been filled with subtle symbolism which make comment on gender roles, women’s identity and the effect of social media on the female psyche. Through favouring painting, Ward’s practice in recent years has evolved to include murals, design and sculpture. Ward’s works of art are held within the collections of Banana Shire Regional Gallery, as well as in private collections throughout Australia.

More information regarding Emma's practice can be found here


Erin Dunne 

Erin Dunne grew up on a cattle property in rural Central Queensland. In 2012, she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art from Queensland College of Art before receiving Artslink funding to undertake an artist-in-residence position at a Central Queensland high school and then a kindergarten in Brisbane. After completing her Postgraduate Diploma in Education at QUT during 2014, she returned to Rockhampton to take up a position teaching secondary visual art. In addition to pursuing her arts practice professionally, she is passionate about providing high quality visual arts learning experiences for regional audiences through her role as an arts educator. 

The foundation of Dunne’s artistic practice is the language and process of drawing. Her subject matter is usually interpreted through an autobiographical lens and focuses on people and places that she has a deep connection with, aiming to capture a sense of what it feels like to live and work in the regional and subtropical areas of Rockhampton and Central Queensland. Her artist book of drawings entitled "Destination Duaringa" won the 2018 Queensland Regional Art Awards. During March 2019, Rockhampton Art Gallery hosts Dunne's first major institutional solo exhibition, "House", which bridges her interests in art and education by presenting her drawings through modes that invite audience interaction and participation. 

More information regarding Erin's practice can be found here