Burnley artist hitting heights Down Under

LANCASHIRE LASSES: Jacky Murtaugh (left) and Helene Hardy, who are holding an art exhibition at the The National Wine Centre of Australia
LANCASHIRE LASSES: Jacky Murtaugh (left) and Helene Hardy, who are holding an art exhibition at the The National Wine Centre of Australia

A Burnley woman who emigrated to Australia four years ago has been fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming an artist.

Jacky Murtaugh and fellow artist Helene Hardy, who also hails from Lancashire, are holding a joint exhibition “Lancashire Lasses” at the National Wine Centre of Australia, running from May 28th until June 23rd.

Jacky has built a reputation for being unconventional, becoming renowned for her vibrant and richly coloured paintings of nature and sparkling portrayals of water and sunlight.

Born and bred in Burnley, Jacky remembers one of her first inspirations to paint in oil was a piece she saw at Towneley Hall; “The Sun Had Closed the Winter’s Day” by Joseph Farquharson.

While working for Smith & Nephew, in the heritage-listed Brierfield Mills, she returned to the classroom to study art and design at Burnley College, at the same time taking a degree in management studies.

“I’ve never been busier,” she said, having had three exhibitions so far this year. “I used to paint two or three paintings a year until I moved to Adelaide. I’ve painted more than 70 since arriving in 2009.

“When I emigrated from England four years ago I envisaged that ‘living the dream’ would be a laid back lifestyle in a sunny, beachside location. I never expected to be fulfilling my childhood dream of becoming an artist.”

Her first solo show “Illuminate”, held 12 months ago, won rave reviews and she was even a finalist in the South Australian Living Artist 2012 in the Emerging Artist category.

More can be found at www.jackymurtaugh.com