Artist finds inspiration in layers of life


Rosie Lloyd-Giblet touches up a painting at home. Photo by Maite Sajovic

“I think my grandmother knew back then that I was going to be one of those artists,” artist Rosie Lloyd-Giblet says.

Rosie opens a drawer down the corridor from her studio. She gently caresses the pages of a prized Clifton Pugh AO (a three-times Archibald prize winner and environmental artist) art book. She flips open the front cover, and warmth oozes from a special time, a special place, and a special person in her life. That person is her dear grandmother. She reads the notes on the covers insert, reminiscing with a dreamy Mona Lisa half-smile, explaining how her grandmother wrote in every book she gifted Rosie.

Art and nature are Rosie’s spiritual grounding.

Rosie is a Sunshine Coast local of 21 years. She and her husband Phil bought a house in Noosaville that nobody wanted and it has been their home ever since. The home is a visual feast of art pieces Rosie has collected over time. Close by is Noosa National Park, which provides much of the inspiration, colours, emotions and seasons reflected in Rosie’s paintings. Rosie walks through the park every week; An essential element of her nature walks is the meditative space it gives, where she can breathe, relax, and connect with the earth.

A woman smiling for the camera
Rosie finds profound joy in nature. Photo by Maite Sajovic.

Rosie lived a childhood most kids would dream of, running wild and free in the wide-open spaces of Chinchilla, Western Queensland. However, she struggled at boarding school, where space was restrictive, but thankfully she found sanctuary in art. When at home, she and her brother ran free. Rosie playfully says it was a way to get out of doing the housework. She fondly speaks about her mother: “I don’t know if it was because she trusted us or what, but we could do whatever we wanted.”

It is no surprise that a childhood spent on the farm is rooted in Rosie’s connection to and love of the land and is etched deeply in her soul and the essence of her work.

Rosie uses sgraffito, a technique of revealing a layer of colour or pattern by scratching the top layer, to enhance what she sees and feels, making her paintings multidimensional. “The colours of my work reflect the seasons and my emotional state as well,” she says.

Rosie’s art practice is to reflect on the landscape and paint plein air: out in the environment. When she was busy mothering small children, her practice involved still life, working on objects and memory, but always making connections. A turning point in Rosie’s practice was a week spent at Bimblebox Art, Science and Nature Camp, an 8000-hectare woodland environment in October 2015 in the open desert uplands region of Central Western Queensland, 450km west of Rockhampton.

Rosie completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Fine Art) and a graduate Diploma of Education. “After leaving uni, I was ready just to get on and start experiencing life and those seven years in my 20s away, in remote locations and being humbled by earth and by people that connect to the earth,” she stops and reflects. “Africa. African women are so proud and share anything with you.”

Rosie’s first teaching job was in the African village of Zombodse in Swaziland. Africa is where she and her husband Phil met.

Not finished exploring, Rosie and Phil left Africa, bound for Australia to travel some more. They spent several months in the Northern Territory. Rosie knew she wanted to head to Cape York; a yearning desire. She worked with the Lockhart River Gang for three years, helping the elders record their stories and organise exhibitions.

“It was a really wonderful experience. Indigenous people are just so in tune with nature and the seasons. I think it’s had an enormous impact on the way I respect and appreciate the landscape,” she says.

Rosie is currently a specialist teacher at Cooroy State School, two days a week. She will soon undertake her Masters in Fine Arts, stemming from her love of poetry. “Even as a child, I was always just playing with words and how to make pictures or create an emotion,” she says.

Rosie Lloyd-Giblett is an artist. Nature Ambassador. Educator. Mother. Wife. Student.

Her artwork shows connections to the earth, seasons, and emotions that reflect the layers of Rosie’s contemplation of the human connection to nature and place.

Walkers who see an artist dragging a canvas through Noosa National Park should remember: everything is Rosie.