If our school truancy habits are any indication of what our futures will look like, Sue Hollamby-McConnell has had her success mapped out since her teens.
Fast forward a few decades and this lively local artist has not lost her youthful passion, explaining with a cheeky grin, “I used to wag high school to visit Melbourne’s art galleries, spending hours walking around enjoying the art.”
“I would think back then that maybe one day I could do this too, but I always knew if I did that my art would be focused on wildlife, the ocean, animals and the mysteries of the rainforest.”
And so began the artistic adventures of this Yorkshire-born lass who had a vivid dream that she was hell bent on making her reality.
“In the words of Andy Warhol, ‘Don’t think about making art, just get it done!’”, Sue quoted emphatically.
“My art isn’t about me and it never has been… it’s about people and making them see things differently and the value of my work to them.”
“My art isn’t about me and it never has been… it’s about people and making them see things differently and the value of my work to them.” – Sue Hollamby-McConnell
Unless you’re a recluse it’s highly likely you have been in the physical presence of one of Sue’s lifelike pieces, which adorn the walls of many establishments locally, nationally and internationally. Many of her creations were donated to the likes of local organisations such as the Townsville Hospital for charitable purposes, along with her military-inspired artworks which grace the inside of the local RSL.
These pieces have a particularly sentimental value for Sue, whose parents were both members of the British
But perhaps the most widely known works of Sue Hollamby-McConnell, especially for Townsville’s GenXers are the lively murals which fill the entrance to the local ice-skating rink; a popular old haunt for those of us who grew up here in the 70s and 80s.
“Both my daughters grew up on the ice and they both reached national level, so spending so much time at the ice rink landed me the job of painting the murals around the centre,” Sue explained.
“That was over 25 years ago but the new owners contacted me recently to give a fresh new look to the place and it’s gaining popularity!”
Meeting up with Sue just before a recent trip to Sydney to spend time with her two best friends, who happen to be her daughters, she was like a kid on Christmas Eve talking about another big event scheduled for her holiday.
“I get to present a personal piece to Ian Anderson, leader singer of the famous UK band Jethro Tull; a portrait of his beloved cat!” Sue proclaimed.
“My favourite piece is the last piece I do, which brings joy and emotion to my customer…so I guess for the moment, this is my favourite piece.”