On show at Port Stephens Community Arts Centre

WORKS ON SHOW: The feature artist at Port Stephens Community Arts Centre until August 20 is Milja Phillipson.
WORKS ON SHOW: The feature artist at Port Stephens Community Arts Centre until August 20 is Milja Phillipson.

The feature artist at Port Stephens Community Arts Centre until August 20 is Milja Phillipson.

Born in Amsterdam, Ms Phillipson has been a keen photographer for most of her life.

Since the age of 14 she has dabbled in the hobby starting with a small box camera and developing her negatives and prints in the bathroom of her family home.

Her father made her an enlarger from an old kerosene tin together with a quality lens.

Later on in her teens she worked as a darkroom technician.

All photos that you see in her exhibition at the art centre in Nelson Bay have been printed using her own professional photo printer with pigment inks that will last a lifetime.

In her nursing days Ms Phillipson photographed new recruits entering her hospital, friends getting married and family occasions.

She completed a TAFE course in photography and ceramics, which stood her in good stead as she is still very keen on both these crafts and tries to combine them.

Another interest is 3D paper sculpture which she creates from her original photographs. It requires very intricate work and needs a lot of patience.

The images of Australian birds are mostly captured in her backyard at Fingal Bay. It takes a long time to complete a work but is very rewarding.

Lino-cutting and other forms of printing are other activities that keep Ms Phillipson busy.

She taught pottery at Shoal Bay Public School in the 90's.

Ms Phillipson was the editor of Centre News for 10 years, is the in house photographer for the centre and creates videos, slideshows, brochures, banners and advertising material for magazines using her extensive knowledge of graphic art.

Ms Phillipson is following the footsteps of her parents, the late Joanna and Pieter Lafebre, both dedicated artisans who settled in Port Stephens in 1980.

Together with a group of like-minded artists including Bryce Perry they started a small painting, craft and pottery group in an old dwelling in Yacaaba Street and from there progressed to the old empty hospital (with help from the council) which is now Port Stephens Community Arts Centre.

The Lafebres received a special award from the council for the work they did for the community.

In addition to Ms Phillipson's artworks, the arts centre is also showing works that pay tribute to rivers, lakes and mountains.

The artworks depicting are on show until September 10.

The revitalised print making group is also showing the culmination of 12 month's printmaking.

An exciting date to note in your calendar is September 7 - the date for the popular Spring Fair.

This is an exciting day to visit the arts centre to view the talents and creativity of art centre members.

There will be a sausage sizzle, cake and goodie stall, market stalls, plant stall, grow your own Bonsai demo, mosaic demo, pottery demo, woodwork activities, painting sales, painting auction, spinning and weaving demos, paper craft, card making, quilling, embroidery, knitting, patchwork, fabric art and fusion.

Admission to the gallery is free and is open to the public 10am to 4pm daily.