Colour Society Of Australia


"Conversations on Colour and Place" with Dr Natalie O'Connor and Jo Mellor

  • 13 Apr 2024
  • 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf, 548 New South Head Road Double Bay NSW

We're very pleased to announce that our next event will be an in-person visit to the beautiful Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf (Double Bay, Sydney) for talks by artists Dr Natalie O'Connor and Jo Mellor on their current exhibitions Nature of Redness and Cobalt and Rust respectively. Each artist will give a 30-minute floor talk about their work, followed by a Q&A session moderated by CSA NSW Division Chair Dr David Briggs. We are very grateful to Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf for making this event possible.

"Though their artistic responses to the land and to colour differ, both Mellor and O’Connor see their work as the product of a fundamentally collaborative process. Engaging with the land means engaging with the Aboriginal communities and Elders to whom it belongs. These encounters and experiences of hospitality and shared stories enliven the process of discovery, of unearthing and revisiting.

Their work has evolved with these encounters and is testament to life changes, shared stories, personal narratives and a deep willingness to learn. The outworking for each artist reflects a pilgrimage of sorts; a documentation of a life journey as well as expedition to site, hovering in the intersection of time, place and the imagination."

From The Palette of Place by Josephine Morrow

Dr Natalie O’Connor is an artist, researcher, public programs & education coordinator. She holds a Bachelor of Education and Master's degree, and was most recently awarded a PhD at UNSW for her thesis, The Nature of Redness- A Practice-Based Research into Red Pigments to Offer a New Understanding of Material Colour. Her practice and thesis are concerned with the permanency and fragility of colour and the technical innovations of the artist’s palette that result from a collaborative dialogue between artists and scientists since the early nineteenth century. She engages deeply with the colour red, investigating its materiality and revealing its inherent qualities of colour.

By understanding and experiencing the delicacies of each red pigment, scientists explore the potential for colour-making in the future. This allows the new potential for contemporary artists to make informed choices with their palettes to interpret the world around them. A selection of Natalie's work can be seen on her website and Instagram account.

Jo Mellor is a recent graduate of UNSW Art & Design's MFA program. Her MFA project was guided by Aboriginal knowledge provided by Ngiyampaa Elder Aunty Beryl Carmichael. The project applied the methodologies of yarning and deep listening to an expanded textile practice as well as consultation and collaboration with the Menindee Ngiyampaa and Barkandji community. Emerging from this research, Jo's current exhibition, Cobalt and Rust (Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf, 20 March - 14 April 2024) is a critical examination of the ecological crises affecting Broken Hill (Wilyakali Country). Through a textile-based, eco-feminist practice, the exhibition lays bare the devastating consequences of land and water mismanagement by government bodies and corporations who fail to consult with the Traditional Custodians of Country. The textile series in the exhibition presents dense clusters of embroidery that suggest textures of scarred earth, whilst hues of cobalt and rust echo chemical discord. A selection of Jo's work can be seen on her website and Instagram account.


Registration for this free in-person event is being administered by Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf through the following link:

For inquiries about registration please contact the gallery on 02 9184 1016 or at  The exhibitions Nature of Redness and Cobalt and Rust have already opened and can be viewed Wednesdays 1pm-6pm, Thursdays and Fridays 10am-6pm, and Saturdays and Sundays 10am-5pm until April 14 (closed Public Holidays). 

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