Nestled amongst the pawpaw trees and swaying palms at the top of the botanical gardens something exciting is happening… a team of artist friends have been gathering.
Busily filling an old elevated house that I have walked past for many years above the aptly named “Snake bean garden” with handcrafted pieces of beauty – little ceramic creatures, whimsical paintings, textiles, cushions featuring the very birds who fly by the windows, jewellery, trinkets and so much more awaits those who visit … and visit I did earlier this week as curiosity got the better of me and I reached out to the artist Isabel Lopez and her friend Shae Maree who together have driven this new venture with the help of a swag of artists who have provided their work up for sale.
I quizzed the ladies on just what they are up to in this divine space:
Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Isabel grew up surrounded by nature. From playing in her grandparents’ garden to camping trips Isabel has always been immersed in the natural world. Her earliest memories include playing with mud, reinventing her world and ‘going on adventures’ with her pet dog, but in reality their adventures never went further than the garden boundaries. Isabel also played with her father’s art materials, exploring her curiosity whilst ruining what she later found out to be photographic paper.
Isabel studied fine art and design in high school, followed by a diploma in photography, a jewellery apprenticeship, silversmithing, and later a degree in landscape architecture.
In her early 20’s Isabel moved to Australia, working and living in Sydney, the harbour city provided endless inspiration with its beautiful landscapes.
Isabel currently works from her studio at the Botanic Gardens in Darwin, where she is constantly influenced by its natural surroundings, This work consists of illustrations, ceramic art and paintings, all fuelled by her deep love for nature.
Isabel has her work spread throughout private collections around the world, including UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, USA, Japan and Australia to name a few and currently sells her work at various art events/exhibitions and as well as this newest little gallery.
The Conservatory & Co officially opens today so hurry up the creaking stairs for a look at what treasures are to be found in the old house at the top of the garden.