Julia Landford is the Founding Director of Canberra NatureArt Lab, a social enterprise established to provide Canberra with its first dedicated natural history art school. Julia is a practising wildlife and botanical artist with a passion for nature. She has a strong interest in interdisciplinary approaches for art and science and the role of art in conservation advocacy. Julia established Wildlife and Botanical Artists Inc (WABA) in Canberra in 1998, which initiated new art, science and conservation networks, annual member art exhibitions, national wildlife art exhibitions, a national symposium on art and science in partnership with CSIRO, along with regular field trips and workshops. Julia has an extensive background in federal public sector management including a twenty-year career with Australia's Aid Program and Department of Foreign Affairs. Her career has included international development roles in South East Asia, PNG and the Pacific region as well as in New York, Geneva and Rome with the United Nations. Julia is a qualified secondary education and adult education teacher and has a Masters of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development.
Cheryl Hodges is an award winning local artist who has been painting botanical watercolours since 2000. Her painting technique involves building up the colour in many layers of soft washes, creating an almost translucent effect, then intensifying the final painting with very detailed dry brush work. She enjoys painting Australian native plants and insects. Cheryl is an invited member of the Florilegium of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney with her painting Eucalyptus tereticornis in the permanent collection.
Lesley Wallington is a professional artist and tutor with more than 20 years’ experience. During this time she has collected a series of awards for her unique and innovative paintings and has followed her journey in water based media through studies at the ANU. As a teacher Lesley combines theory and technical advice with straightforward practical instruction on working with watercolour, gouache, pencil, ink and collage. With an in depth knowledge of her medium and extensive experience teaching all age groups and levels, Lesley has the ability to inspire and direct a class while encouraging the unique style of individual students.
Peter Marsack is one of Australia’s most respected professional wildlife artists. He trained and worked as a biologist in state and federal public service environmental agencies for over 25 years. He is a qualified natural history artist and illustrator, with a Graduate Diploma of Natural History Illustration from the University of Newcastle. Peter has contributed to a range of award-winning publications, including with Canberra author and naturalist Ian Fraser to illustrate ‘A Bush Capital Year, a natural history of the ACT’, published in 2011. Peter is one of three artists for the award-winning Australian Bird Guide published by CSIRO in 2017. Peter now teaches natural history art in the ACT.
Damien Esquerré is a biologist, researcher and PhD student specialized in snake and lizard evolution. He is also an extraordinary nature photographer with over 10 years of experience, having travelled to some of the wildest places in South and Central America, Australia and Asia exclusively to photograph wildlife and nature. His photos have appeared on several books, expos, magazines, scientific journal covers, newspapers and websites.
Ellouise Theron grew up in South Africa and her art developed from a young age as an expression of her passion for the African bush and its animals. She spent a few years in the Middle East and the colours of this harsh region have influenced her art direction. Her art does not merely copy nature but brings the subjects to life by capturing the essence of every creature. She believes in painting what is in your heart and that people need to get out into nature to meet and experience the animals you intend to paint. Living and painting in the Canberra 'the bush capital' for the past eight years, Ellouise has recently turned her focus to Australian wildlife. Ellouise graduated in Graphic Design from the University of Pretoria and she is also a qualified teacher. She has taught art across the spectrum from junior school to adult classes. Drawing is fundamental to Ellouise's approach, along with colour and design. Her preferred medium is soft pastels with pastel pencils. Recognition for her work includes the Australian Artist Magazine and the Royal Canberra Show.