Sybil Curtis

(b. 1943. Canungra, QLD, Australia)

Sybil Curtis has been exhibiting regularly with the Gallery since 1993. Receiving a Bachelor of Science from the University of Queensland in 1967, Curtis's artistic career began in the 1980's, influenced by her experience with scientific illustration. Curtis's paintings are held in numerous collections, including those of the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane City Hall Art Gallery & Museum, University of Queensland Art Museum, Ipswich City Council Regional Art Gallery, Redcliffe City Council, Gladstone Regional Art Gallery, Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery, Queensland University of Technology and the University of Technology Sydney Collection, as well as private and corporate collections in Australia and New Zealand.  

Curtis’s 2018 exhibition, Travelling South, draws its imagery from the man-made structures she encountered in Antarctica. The series of paintings that comprise the exhibition visualise the conserved buildings that once served as bases for now historical expeditions, as well as currently operational sites occupied by the United States and New Zealand. Curtis notes that the immense scale of the landscape and the transient weather conditions impacted her perception of these structures.

Her architectural paintings employ mining and industrial subject matter, finding beauty within and giving warmth and personality to these areas of construction. Initially Curtis takes photographs that form the underlying structure of her paintings, however, she does not paint records of buildings as they are, but instead uses addition and subtraction to produce a coherent and visually intriguing artwork. The traditional landscape does not appeal to Curtis, as she believes there is little to add to enhance natural beauty and prefers these industrial scenes, which allow her to present her own, unique perspective to the viewer. As Curtis explains, she is interested in the energy created when different structural elements are interfacing, such as "…when two colours or textures meet, or a curve intersects with a straight line."