Artist Profiles

Vanessa Barbay

Like my mother Maree, I was raised amongst the ecologically diverse nature of pristine Jervis Bay in Vincentia. We attended school with Yuin children and I loved learning local creation stories featuring animals and Ancestral Beings. Well-known storyteller and artist of the Bidjigal clan Laddie Timbery taught generations of local children about the cultural and political history of the area. I also learned from members of the Wiradjuri nation, notable well-known storyteller Pauline McLeod while living in Wagga Wagga and surrounding areas for over 10 years.

On moving to Canberra for 7 years, I was awarded an ANU PhD research scholarship to travel to Western Arnhem Land and research rock and bark painting by Kunwinjku artists. I also sourced local ochre pigments with traditional owners. My painting and drawing practice concerns animals and stems from both the impact of Aboriginal culture on my worldview and my late Hungarian born father Tibor’s passion for creating taxidermy. During my PhD I developed a new way of generating images by harnessing the decomposition of animal bodies to produce a body print I call the shroud. In September 2013, I moved back to Vincentia and have enjoyed being part of the local arts community.


Natalie McDonagh

Jervis Bay is my great teacher. 

Over twenty years this land has patiently taught me what it is to be present to a place and its spirit; what it means to be nested in the world; how to be open to conversation with it. 

As an artist / designer / maker the forms of my work vary but the essence and intention of my creative practice remain steadfast: cultivating holistic mind and spacious being – for myself and others.  

An artwork I make may be a hand-sized, interactive sculpture designed for you to use as a vehicle for self-inquiry. Another may be a work of experiential art that I facilitate – a site-specific installation in place for a period of time, given life through the random presence and participation of members of the public who happen to attend. 

The continuum of my practice as artist / designer / maker extends into originating practical, arts-based thinking tools for use in the workplace, helping people generate useful insight and fresh action. 

My Artfulmind Laboratory in Erowal Bay is a custom designed studio where I can gather curious human minds (and the occasional kangaroo) for creative workshops and 1:1 sessions.



Barbara Dawson

I moved to the Jervis Bay area in 2014.  I exhibit my art and my work can be found in  Huskisson Framing and Gallery Shoalhaven Regional Gallery.   I am a member of the Shoalhaven Arts Board and Secretary and Publicity Officer of the JBBArts.  I have a Visual Art Degree, a Graduate Diploma and Master of Education and spent twenty years in Canberra schools teaching visual art, media studies and photography.  As a qualified art teacher of many years standing I am available to run workshops or teach classes in the traditional  areas of drawing, printmaking and painting. These can be one on one or small group. I also regularly teach techniques in the many mixed media areas I use in my art, such as Eco dyeing and contact plant printing, creating artists journals or books and coiled basketry.

In my latest artwork I am exploring a connection with place and the environment. Using drawing or stitch in my work adds to the journey and my crossings over the land.  My latest art works involve eco dyeing and contact plant printing, both two and three-dimensional. I use native leaf litter, iron and plant dyes to change the colour of the paper and imprint the image. Each print is different, like nature itself. When dry, I further work into the design with another layer of ink drawing, mark making, colour or stitching enhancing the translucent patterns of the leaves, which hold a shadowy promise with a hint of mystery and alchemy.

I can be contacted on 0412139453.