About the Artists

Nicolle Zuzarte

After working in the corporate world in Human Resources for over 20 years, Nicolle Zuzarte rediscovered her first passion which is painting. Nicolle works with both oils and acrylics and considers herself to be an abstract expressionist and contemporary artist who is inspired predominantly by the Australian land and sea, but also by her many travels around the world.  Her use of colour, and the sense of movement and flow in her work, aims to elicit happiness and tranquility.

Nicolle paints from her home studio in Aspendale, Victoria. She is surrounded by the water and nature which is a constant source of inspiration and wonder.

Nicolle’s love of the arts and being able to express her creativity was driven by a need to unleash deep emotions.  The outlet of painting provides her with a sense of peace, grounding and pure joy.

Nicolle decided to open Zuz Arte Gallery in Beaumaris in mid 2019 as she also wanted to showcase the vast amount of local artistic talent – providing customers with diversity and variety of artistic styles.  She feels priviledged to be able to paint herself and showcase her work but to also support fellow artists. 

Celeste Wrona

Celeste Wrona is an award winning Australian contemporary artist with over a decade of experience making and teaching visual arts. Her vibrant collection celebrates free-flowing form, texture, and colour, resulting in visually stunning pieces that are cementing themselves in today’s contemporary art scene. Celeste’s original works and limited edition prints are held in private collections worldwide and have been exhibited nationally and internationally.

Celeste’s work has featured on Channel 9’s “The Block” ; on Channel 7’s “House Rules”; on Channel 9’s ‘Postcards’ and on Channel 7’s ‘House of Wellness’. Celeste and her work have also been featured in a variety of well-known publications, both in print and online including Vogue Living, Inside Out Magazine, Art Almanac, The Age and Stellar Magazine with Neale Whitaker listing Celeste’s print “Awaken III’ as one of his “Objects of Desire”.

“My studio practice embraces a dynamic and fluid art-making process. I combine methods and materials that juxtapose both a chaotic and intuitive process. I view my work as being multidimensional, something that resonates physically and emotionally with the audience. Being able to transform a phyiscal space into a mindful sanctuary that facilitates a deeper level of personal awareness, taking the viewer to another place. My goal is to invite the viewer to actively construct meaning that encourages them to consider, react, and respond on my work and their internal state simultaneously” – Celeste Wrona

Celeste was recently commissioned by the Ingham Institute of Medical Research in Sydney to create three artworks based on cancer cells as seen under the Merlin Microscope. Celeste was interviewed by Channel 7’s Natalie Barr on the process and concept behind these works. Celeste has explored the influence of science within her artmaking further though her artist residencies in 2017 at Monash University’s Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Melbourne.

Celeste was born, in 1983 in Sydney Australia. As a child, she demonstrated a natural artistic ability and her passion and love for art throughout her adolescence lead her to pursue art professionally. Celeste successfully gained entry to the prestigious University of New South Wales, College of Fine Arts (COFA) in 2001. It was here that she further developed and refined her innate artistic skills as well as completed a Bachelor of Art Education degree.

In 2005, Celeste gained full tenure with the NSW Department of Education to teach Secondary Visual Arts. Celeste has taught many students that have also established themselves as successful artists. She finds great joy in moulding and watching students grow both intellectually and creatively each day.

After originally starting out as a traditional European-styled pencil artist, Celeste’s artmaking organically evolved in style and media, however, regardless of her material practice, she was always drawn back to the raw beauty and complexity of nature. Her paintings and mixed media works are indicative of a more sophisticated re-invigoration of style, colour, texture and form.

Celeste loves to get lost in the flux and flow of the artmaking process and is drawn in by the unpredictable nature and organic movement of working with inks and fluid painting. She invites the viewer to lose themselves within the picture and at the same time, the pictures themselves stare back and hold the viewer’s reflective attention.

Roy Wilkins

 Roy Wilkins is an expressionist painter based in Melbourne Australia. He creates large-scale mixed media paintings on canvas. Born 1 January 1964 in Greenwich, South East London, Roy settled in Melbourne in 1999 and began painting the same year. He is largely self-taught with a lifelong passion for art and art history.

Roy’s paintings are created by experimentation with acrylics, ink, salt, drawing, collage, stencilling, and spray paint. This is applied in layers of patterns, shapes, lines and colour. They are reworked and layered until satisfying results are revealed. The motivation for painting comes from feelings and reactions to musical stimuli, usually electronic music. The images are emotional landscapes in a spontaneous abstract expressionist style. The subject matter is derived from tribal masks and incorporates abstract iconography. Artistic influences are Jean-Michel Basquiat, Albert Tucker and Jean De Buffet.

On arrival in Melbourne Roy worked at Heide Art Gallery preparing the gallery for exhibitions. During this time he was privileged to view Albert Tucker’s collection. This was a major motivation to dedicate his life to painting. Since 2008 Roy has had 6 solo exhibitions in Melbourne. His work is held in private collections in Australia, Spain, Bahrain, Portugal and England.

Achievements include: Smorgon Steel Art finalist 2001 “Shoes and Teeth”. Best in Show Roberts McCubbin Art Show 2009. Roberts McCubbin acquired “Tropical Bloody Hell”. Camberwell Girls Grammar Art Show acquired “Sad Emoticons”. 2011 Best in Show Hart Art “Big Baby”. 2011 Highly commended Roberts McCubbin Art Show “The Green Man”. 2011 Best Abstract/interpretive work Camberwell Rotary Art Show “Inner Chapel”. Featured in Vogue Living, Jan Issue 2017. Featured in ‘The Ones To Watch’ Art Edit Magazine Jan 2017 Issue.

Kelly Adair-Finnegan

Kelly’s work explores the experiences and feelings she has of the landscape and water. She focuses on artistic impressions of the outback and various Australian landscapes and desert. She is a colourist and enjoy paintings which evoke mood and feelings. Kelly’s contemporary influences are Mark Rothko, Willem De Kooning and other artists from the New York Abstract movement.

Kelly enjoys working with colour on large canvases, brush mark making and exploring painterly techniques onto canvas, thus letting the paint run.  

Kelly has a first class honours degree in printmaking fine art from RMIT, she has held various exhibitions around Melbourne.

Clair Bremner

Clair’s artwork is inspired by nature and she likes to focus on bringing the outside in. Her paintings are highly decorative; however, she feels they also serve as a reflection of the beauty and complexity that nature provides. Clair likes to capture the essence of a landscape, stylizing it and making it her own. She employs colour, pattern and repetition to portray the layers of foliage and vegetation that can be seen within the landscape.

Clair’s paintings are both a direct reflection of her surroundings and an imaginary world – a secret garden that exists in her mind. A whimsical place that she can go to escape and be lost within. Clair creates a world that she wants to be in and that provides an escape from the everyday.

“Bremner wields her brush with both loose intuition and delicate intention. She renders bushy billows of treetops in thick, knobbly strokes, but intricately flecked with the tiny blades of leaves or layered with wispy fronds. These precise patterns meet languid drips and erratic splashes that melt down each canvas where trunks or stems might otherwise be found. Her colour palette, meanwhile, varies from one piece to the next, seeming to capture the moods of different hours and seasons despite the often surreal and even technicolour tones.”
— Leah Pellegrini – mymodernmet.com

Helen McKie

A local resident of Beaumaris, Helen McKie has been an established bayside artist for over 40 years. Her art reflects a passion for the ever-changing moods, beauty and colour of our Bayside beaches as well as various other nostalgic Australian scapes.

Helen’s lifelong love of nature is captured in the joyful detail of light dancing on her paintings, unravelling complex patterns through the interplay of light and shadows, to dramatic effect.

Helen is an exhibiting member and Signatory of the Victorian Arts Society (VAS) and her paintings are represented in collections in Australia and Overseas.

Annee Kelly

Born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1949, with French being spoken at home, Annee completed her schooling at a French College, the College Sainte Jeanne Antide de Besancon. Her penchant for drawing and painting however, developed at a very early age and she was constantly involved in artistic activities, winning several art competitions whilst still at school.

Annee arrived in Australia in 1969 to complete her education, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree, in addition to a Secondary Teacher’s Training Certificate. She began to work as a language teacher and later married and had two daughters. After the second of her children commenced primary school, Annee was encouraged to devote herself once again to her art. She was soon painting full time, initially in Oil, Gouache and Pastel, but she soon discovered Watercolour. She immediately felt a strong attraction to this medium, enjoying its transparent, fluid and unpredictable qualities.

In 1985, her work was exhibited for the first time in a metropolitan gallery. Recognition was to follow very quickly. Over the ensuing years, she was to refine her skills under the guidance of tutors such as Gunther Kalbitzer, Ron Muller and the late Rick Rowton. Annee however, continued to attend Watercolour demonstrations and numerous workshops conducted by well-known Watercolour artists. During this time, she developed a unique and distinctive style, characterised by sensitive renditions which captured the charming and mysterious qualities of her chosen subjects.

Annee loves painting on location when the feelings the subject arouses in her are the strongest. The range of subject matter which she paints is extensive, drawing her inspiration from the Australian landscape with its beauty and diversity, as well as from trips overseas, mainly to Europe. She is also lately using her art as a vehicle for social commentary.

Annee has won many awards and commendations and her work features in countless private collections both in Australia and overseas in addition to having her work exhibited in numerous galleries of prominence. She is a highly acclaimed teacher and published artist, is passionate about her art and enjoys sharing her knowledge and imparting her enthusiasm in well attended demonstrations and workshops. Presently, Annee teaches watercolour classes and has has conducted ten consecutive workshops in France and Italy, where her language skills (French, Italian, Spanish) coupled with her training as a school teacher have served her well. She has participated in numerous group shows, has had 17 solo exhibitions and taken part in several overseas exhibitions.

Annee is highly regarded amongst her peers and has been awarded the title of Fellow of both the prestigious Victorian Artists Society and the Guild of Realist Artists. In addition to the Victorian Artists Society (VAS) and the Australian Guild of Realist Artists (AGRA), Annee is also an active member of the Watercolour Society of Australia (WAS), the Melbourne Society of Women Painters and Sculptors (MSWPS) where she acted as Secretary for two years, the Mentone Mordialloc Art Group (MMAG), the Beaumaris Art Group (BAG), the Sherbrooke Art Society (SAS), the Brighton Art Society (BAS) and the Women’s Art Register (WAR).

Annee features in 50 Australian Artists Vol 1, Artists Ink (1994) and has been published in the Australian Artist Magazine (May 2002, April 2007, September 2012, August 2016, December 2018) in addition to the VAS Journal, the Hues Magazine, Watermark and Art Edit Magazine.

“Painting is an integral part of my life and a wonderful journey which has allowed me to see many beautiful places and meet with amazing people, whilst broadening my artistic knowledge by the countless visits to renowned galleries around the world.

I love painting on location when the inspiration is still strong. However, sound draftsmanship and understanding of the concepts of composition and design, tonal range and pleasing colours, are paramount concerns of mine. I am also captivated by the effect that light can have on a particular subject and the manner in which it transforms it, whether it be a silhouetted perched village in France seen against the light, an intimate courtyard in Italy bathed in the rays of a midday sun, or the softness of dusk imbuing the majestic vista of the Australian outback. I constantly seek to communicate this through painting, in the realisation that our world is a truly beautiful and precious place. The challenging capricious and fluid nature of watercolour remains my main mode of expression and I am constantly seeking improvement, chasing the illusive masterpiece.”

Hemika Chawla – Resin Artist

Hemika is a Melbourne based textile designer and an artist who draws her inspiration from various elements of fashion and fine art.

She is a graduate in textile design and arts from Central Saint Martins collage of art & design, London. She also holds a Master’s degree in Arts from LaSalle College of Arts, Singapore. Her design and art colour palette includes shades from countries like Australia, England, India and Singapore.

Hemika’s innate talent for art and design saw light when she got associated with Alexander McQueen’s studio house for their Autumn/Winter collection in 2007. Later in 2008, Vogue Magazine featured her prints for the February 2008 D&G collection. Hemika then worked with some of the leading international brands to shape her talent in print design.

Hemika’s resin art is inspired by the beauty in nature and in partiular, magestic ocean waves. Her resin is food grade which makes all her pieces both beautiful and functional.

Covet & Desire – Jewellery Artist

Handmade designer jewellery that is unique and dripping with luscious colours and semi-precious gems.

Marika, the owner of Covet & Desire makes limited edition pieces from her studio in Melbourne. Her approach is that of an artisan creating something not only beautiful and meticulously crafted, but also a unique design that she has dreamt, imagined, sourced and then brought to life.

In a sea of ordinary, Marika’s designs bring a splash of colour and sensuous sparkle when you wear one of her uniquely designed pieces of art.

The materials used are of the highest quality and include Swarovski Cystals from Austria and Seed Beads from Japan. Most pieces are gold plated.