The natural environment of Coochiemudlo Island provides great inspiration for many of the island’s artisans, but just as many others will tell you it’s the peace and seclusion of island life that really gets the creative juices flowing.
Ceramicists Denise Wright and Viv Wright are uniquely positioned to explain this phenomenon, having lived on Coochie for decades while growing their renowned arts practices here.
This resident couple also pioneered the art of ensuring visitors were able to buy locally-made creations.
“When we were looking for a suitable place to open a small gallery, we travelled all over South East Queensland to find exactly the right spot,” Denise says.
“We kept coming back to Coochiemudlo and loved its tranquillity and beauty. Finally, we bought a block of land on Main Beach and built the house we’re still in twenty five years later.”
The Wrights opened their gallery doors six days a week for fourteen years. “While we worked hard, it gave us great joy,” Denise recalls.
The gallery might be closed these days, but the tradition it inspired continues at a special Valentines pop-up gift shop on Saturday February 11, 11am to 3pm at Red Rock Café just a minute’s walk from the jetty.
A great line up of island artisans will be joining Denise and Viv for the event, including fibre artist Jacqui Cresswell, and Narelle Renn, who’s been creating small framed works printed on recycled paper.
For those seeking jewellery for loved ones, bead artists Elissa and Trish of Bay Island Beads will be selling their popular embroidered and woven jewellery. Since moving to the island, they have been inspired by the environment to begin a collection they’ve called ‘Gifts from the Sea’. They’ll be joined by silversmith Richard Moon, who matches sterling silver with a range of repurposed materials such as vintage linoleum, copper and stingray leather.
Qualified massage and beauty Therapist Emma Flanagan of the island’s Organic Simplicity will also be selling her beauty products and gift vouchers.
Coochie Handmade Valentines is a chance to escape the rush of the shopping mall and head to a nearby island to select gifts in a more relaxed environment, with food, views, sea breezes and swimming to boot! A higher-than-usual high tide is forecast for Saturday February 11, so bring your swimmers and do some last-minute gift-sourcing on the same trip.
The island is just a seven-minute ferry ride from Victoria Point on the mainland and lunch at the café is a well-known treat. EFTPOS facilities are available. See you over here!
For more information on the artists, please call Michael on 0400 977 816.