‘Rhythm & Flow’ by Cathy Quinn

Melbourne-based artist Cathy Quinn is well recognised for her fluid oil paintings depicting the light, colour and movement in everyday landscapes. Her paintings of undulating shapes are luminous, and the layers of saturated colour she has built up and broken down on the canvas bring a sense of joy to her work.

It’s her imagination and ability to transport the viewer to another place that encouraged landscape designer Rick Eckersley to commission Cathy to paint a piece for his new book ‘Art of a Garden’. “As a long-term client of Cathy’s and a friend, we both had an appreciation of each other’s work”, explains Rick.

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‘Musk Cottage’ Flinders by Rick Eckersley | Photography: willslater.com

‘Art of a Garden’ won’t be your typical garden design book. When Rick set out to create a book on his quintessentially Australian garden in Flinders, he wanted to produce something different, something refreshing; “a new movement”. By engaging 25 creatives from painters and photographers to sculptors and textile artists, Rick’s vision for the publication is to share other people’s interpretation of the space he’s crafted and maintained over many years.

“The measure of success is when a garden’s beauty touches your soul and begs you to linger.” – Rick Eckersley

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‘Musk Cottage’ Flinders by Rick Eckersley | Photography: willslater.com

When Rick approached Cathy to create a painting for his book, she had only been to ‘Musk Cottage’ once before. “He gave me a collection of beautiful photographs by Will Salter to start working with. The way I work is very organic, working solutions through over time”, says Cathy.

After several trips to Rick’s garden to “absorb and sense the feeling of it” what was meant to be just one painting, became a larger body of work.

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Cathy Quinn’s Exhibition ‘Rhythm & Flow’, Eco Outdoor Richmond

“It’s just an inspiring, beautiful property”, says Cathy. “There is a real sense of light and shade, pattern, texture and colour in Rick’s garden. As you meander through the garden each new space reveals itself.”

‘Rhythm and Flow’ is an exhibition of these pieces; of her personal exploration of the garden from photograph to canvas.

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‘Musk Cottage’ Flinders by Rick Eckersley | Photography: willslater.com

“The way that I work is intuitive. It’s almost about being in a space and absorbing the feeling of it, and then letting go and seeing what comes of it.” – Cathy Quinn

Cathy’s paintings always start with an intention, before her imagination and artist’s vision takes over, and logic abandoned.

For Cathy, the opportunity to contribute to Rick’s book has been a pleasure. It’s challenged her to extend her pictorial language and given her an escape from the confounds of her garden studio. “With Rick’s garden, I really tried to pare back my palette and look more at the quality of that quintessential Australian landscape with its greys and soft blues.” Some of the works in the Rhythm & Flow exhibition are more subdued with the colours, but Cathy admits, in a few pieces she had to add a punch of colour that’s synonymous with her painting style.

The ‘Rhythm and Flow’ exhibition held at Eco Outdoor, Richmond will feature about 20 paintings varying in sizes. “The exhibition shows the workings of how I’ve started as I’ve interpreted the garden before coming to the final piece ‘Rhythm & Flow’ which will feature in Rick’s book ‘Art of a Garden.”

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‘Musk Cottage’ Flinders by Rick Eckersley | Photography: willslater.com

‘Rhythm & Flow’

Location: Eco Outdoor – 422 Burnley Street, Richmond (Get Directions here)

Opening Night: Friday 16th March 6-8pm

Exhibition Dates: March 16th – March 25th

Opening Hours: Weekdays 8am-5pm; Saturday & Sunday 10am-3pm


Rick Eckersley’s ‘Art of a Garden’  expected to be released by URO Publications by Spring 2018. 

Photography of Musk Cottage, Flinders: www.willsalter.com