Hello Koalas

Hello Koalas. A public art project. Located in the Port Macquarie Hastings region, NSW from September 2014 – December 2015. Fifty large-scale koala sculptures, manufactured in fibreglass & hand painted & decorated by artists, to create an official Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail. A forward thinking project linking the creativity of artists, business sponsorship and the power of tourism, conceived by Arts and Health Australia.

I am thrilled to be able to say I was commissioned to paint not one, but three koalas.

Komorebi, was chosen to be sponsored by World Par-Tea, an Australian owned retailer & wholesaler specialising in chemical free loose leaf teas of the highest grade and quality.

Komorebi is a Japanese word which translates as, ‘sunlight filtering through the leaves on trees’. In reference to the koala’s forest habitat up high in trees. To see a koala for yourself requires you to also enjoy komorebi – looking up into the sunlight filtered by the leaves on trees.

The second koala was a commission. Ricardoes Tomatoes and Strawberries had signed up early on as a sponsor, but there was no koala design submitted that was a good match for their business. So the Hello Koalas team went looking for an artist and thankfully they found my food themed paintings. I was asked to create a luscious, fresh food design based around the produce of the business.

Hello Berry Beautiful.

And finally in 2017 the sculpture was expanded, rearranged, made permanent and relaunched, which meant more koalas. Enter Benjamin – The Return of the Thylacine as part of the Save Our Species educational boardwalk at Sea Acres Rainforest Centre. This koala was one of the original design submissions. The Thylacine is Australia’s icon for extinction like the dodo for the rest of the world. Don’t let the koala become the next thylacine!