Artist brings unique style to her community

David CharlesworthSouth Western Times
Sharon Hinchcliffe
Camera IconSharon Hinchcliffe

Fantastic stories of swirling seas have formed part of Australind artist Sharon Hinchliffe’s unique style which she has brought to the community through exhibitions and public murals.

Originally from Kalgoorlie, Sharon arrived in the South West about 10 years ago and it was here she was able to focus more on her art which has grown in media and scope.

Now her two children are older, she said she had more time to concentrate on her art.

“Now I have some time to get some art done,” she said.

Sharon has pursued art since her childhood and programs in high school, later studying a Certificate IV in visual arts and working as a freelance embroidery designer.

Sharon said she liked to explore different mediums with her work, while her main area was illustration with ink and acrylic painting.

“I like a bit of everything because my work history has been around design,” she said.

“I also like to play around with digital work, and that’s more because I do retail things as well.”

Sharon Hinchcliffe for Lifestyle.
Camera IconSharon Hinchcliffe for Lifestyle. Credit: Jon Gellweiler

Through her brand Arli Design, Sharon has used her design skills to bring her art to a more commercial sphere making prints, calendars, notebooks and pendants with her designs, selling in shops in Bunbury, Fremantle, Bridgetown and Margaret River.

“I like to put my work into other things people can utilise – not everyone’s into wall art,” she said.

Sharon also collaborated with ceramics artist Tracie Anderson, with their work exhibited in Bunbury in January.

“We then went down to Margaret River at a winery and it is currently in Dardanup (for the Dardanup Art Trail),” she said.

“That’s still at Green Door Winery.”

Sharon has worked on a number of public art projects from wall murals to Water Corporation cabinets.

“I’ve done another recent mural in Margaret River for a cafe,” she said.

“I have a couple of other murals in the pipeline for schools and I’m enjoying a bit of a break, because I work.”

Sharon said she started with public art five years ago when someone asked her to put one of her works in their shop.

“I’ve been studying mural artists for a lot of years and when they had them down here in Bunbury I asked a lot of questions,” she said.

“That’s sort of become my focus now just because I like the physicalness of it.”

As a child, Sharon wanted to be a sign-writer after she saw one at work in her parents’ store putting the specials on the window.

“That really interested me, that large-scale type of work,” she said.

“I’ve always wanted to do large paintings but back then wall art was graffiti, so I never really connected.”

Sharon described her style as illustrative and storytelling, combined with coloured patterns.

“I’m attracted to my childhood era, the 70s, so that psychedelic sort of patterning I always liked,” she said.

“I’ve always worked colour and patterns into everything I do and it’s sort of developed into a style I kept going back to.”

Sharon said she did not create her work with any story in mind, but looking back she had found elements of her life reflected in her work.

“A lot of people have asked is it autobiographical and I never thought that, except when I considered that I looked and the pictures I drew and it told a story that I could relate to,” she said.

“Usually I’ll start off with general, similar theme because I love water and ocean and waves.

“Then whatever goes into the picture grows from the starting point and, unless it’s a specific commission, none of it’s planned.”

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