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Warragul Gazzette 19th Feb 2013

Thai artistic experience for local artistartical written on Thai trip

Laurie Collins has just returned from two full on weeks working in Thailand. The trip came about through last year’s winner of the Jindivick sculpture show ( Pimpisa Tinpalit) who has connections to a number of Thai Universities. The Universities run workshops where artists from around the world are invited to come and work in the university environs, producing art in a few days which then becomes an exhibition for the following month. Laurie had to pay his flights there and back but most other expenses were covered.

“ It as a fantastic experience” said Laurie.” I was working in the same space as over 100 Thai and international artists and I made friends and contacts from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, USA, Canada, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia and many other  countries as well as learning about and meeting lots of creative and friendly Thai Artists”

 The workshops were at two separate Universities in different parts of the country,one in Bankok( Poh Chang academy of Fine art) and one in Phitsanulok( Naruesan University) and  there were a few rest days at Chaing Rai between the productive times.

“I had never been to Thailand before and I learned so much about the history, its culture and I was so inspired by both the Thai art but also the other artists.” I am now planning a Thai based exhibition for later in the year”

The worst part of the whole trip was the humidity in Bankok and we were there at the cooler time of the year!

There were three other artists as part of the Australian contingent, Pimpisa Tinpalit, David Jensz ( lecturer in Sculpture at Canberra University) and Aaron Martin artist and Curator at 5 walls gallery and Trocadero art space in Footscray.

Laurie will be giving a talk and visual presentation of the experience as part of the Creative Gippsland  month of May.

Warragul Gazette 6th September, 2011

Gippsland Art In Canada

Laurie and Marian Collins have recently returned from taking an exhibition of Gippsland art to the small Canadian town of Quesnel. The exhibition opened on July the 8th and continued all month at the Quesnel art gallery.The opening was attended by nearly 100 people and music was provided by the younger members of the old time fiddlers. There was a steady stream of people looking at the work over the time and many positive comments were written in the visitors book. The exhibition was organised by Laurie and featured Laurie’s work but also included work from other local identities Laurel Billington, Lucy Chapman, Marian Collins, Noeleen Downie, Anita George, Lisa Kurec , Jessie McLennan, Gary Miles, Sue Osborn, Adam Price, Joan Price, Helen Timbury,Ingrid Thomas, Kerrie Warren and Travis Wiltshire.
A teacher from Quesnel ( Jim Benson)who had worked for a year at Drouin Secondary College, facilitated the exhibition and the Collins’ stayed with Jim and his family for part of the time they were in Canada. Some of the travel arrangements were handled by Jaqui Turner travel agency and Laurie and Marian toured through quite a bit of British Columbia and its near neighbors looking at art and culture and sketching and taking photos of a range of subjects. Much of this will provide inspiration for a new exhibition to be held later in the year called “Reflections on Canada”. This will be at Gary Miles’ Gallery Bradley Hall and also will include work by most of the people who were part of the Canadian exhibition.
Marian wrote an extensive blog of their travels and this can be seen on Laurie Collins website(
Asked about his impressions of Canada, Laurie said” It sure is a big country. We saw lots and lots of trees, giant pines and birches and real mountains as we passed through the Rockies. We found lots of inspiration in the art of the first Nation tribes but felt that Gippsland had a more vibrant art culture than many of the places we visited. There was a certain conservatism of outlook and a lack of curiosity about different ideas. However, we found Canadians to be a very polite and helpful people and we really enjoyed the experience although 6 weeks is a long while to be away from my shed!.

Gippsland Art Goes to Canada

Gippsland Art Goes to Canada

Warragul Gazette 14th June, 2011

On July the 8th an exhibition of art from around West Gippsland is opening in Quesnel B.C. Canada. Its title is “Here come the Australians… Laurie Collins and Friends.” The exhibition includes about 34 of Laurie’s pieces and also work from Laurel Billington, Lucy Chapman, Marian Collins, Noeleen Downie, Anita George, Lisa Kurec , Jessie McLennan, Gary Miles, Sue Osborn, Adam Price, Joan Price, Helen Timbury ,Ingrid Thomas, Kerrie Warren and Travis Wiltshire.

The picture on the left shows Helen Timbury, Laurel Billington, Laurie Collins, Gary Miles, Noeleen Downie and Joan Price.

The idea developed when a teacher exchange occurred several years ago. A teacher from Quesnel ( Jim Benson) came to Drouin Secondary College and swapped with Rob Monk for a year. In that time a friendship developed between Jim and another teacher then at Drouin, Laurie Collins. Jim came and worked at times in Laurie’s shed and Laurie taught him the basics of wood turning.

When Jim returned to Canada a sporadic correspondence was maintained until the idea of taking an exhibition of Laurie’s art was suggested. The Gallery in Quesnel were delighted and as Laurie’s work is mainly sculptural, he thought he would ask a few of the other artists in the area if they might like to send a piece or two to help represent Australia in the “wilds” of Canada. They have contributed about 35 pieces of work so the show should show a good range of styles and concerns of Gippsland artists. The Baw Baw writers network have also sent over a number of copies of their latest publication, “ Pre scribe” to link to a local writers network.

The show has been packed into two large crates (that had previously done service with the “Wild Dogs “ exhibition of a few years ago ) and these were shipped off at the start of May to Vancouver and Quesnel... via Korea! Laurie and his wife Marian board a plane at the end of June to fly over and set up the exhibition at the Gallery. Laurie also has a few speaking engagements and Laurie and Marian will mainly be enjoying the western side of Canada until it is time to pack up the exhibition and bring back what has not sold.

“It should be a fascinating experience said Laurie..we have not been in Canada before and we hope to make links with artists and other communities there.”

Follow Lauries Exhibition through his online blog.