Artist shares talent, passion

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian

The year 2016 was a busy one for Northampton artist Jenny Passalacqua.

As she continued to follow art prizes around the State, Passalacqua decided to retire and take up art full-time.

While she’s still working once a week at Haslebys Hardware in Northampton, she runs four children’s art classes a week from her home studio and gallery, Kurrajong Farm Art. “I tutor them in all aspects of art,” Passalacqua said.

“It’s so much fun, and they totally love art.

“For me in our community, a lot of things revolve around sports and art is another outlet for those that don’t necessarily do sport.

“They’re inspiring to me too because they’re just so keen and so hungry for art.”

Passalacqua moved from Perth to Northampton with her family 21 years ago, wanting a lifestyle change for her two daughters.

Creativity has always played a part in the artist’s life, having worked as a calligrapher in her 20s, and later at a primary school.

But it wasn’t until seven years ago that she seriously began to consider following her passion.

While Passalacqua is able to work across all disciplines in a traditional style, she mostly works with acrylics because they don’t need to be framed for art prizes.

“Acrylics are more presentable in showing,” she said.

“But I prefer watercolours.

“You’ve got something in your mind and the watercolours have got a movement of its own. I enjoy them and they’re not hard work.

“They move along with me and I like the spontaneity of it — it happens right before your eyes.”

In 2015, Passalacqua won the People’s Choice award at the Northampton Art Prize, announced at the Airing of the Quilts.

Her winning piece depicted an elderly man walking past a war memorial, his shadow casting the image of a soldier.

Passalacqua said she felt honoured to win the award for such an expressive piece.

“A busload of veterans came through the exhibition,” she said.

“They were brought to tears when they saw my work, struck by the emotion in the art. I love knowing that I’ve given somebody joy in seeing my art. I put so much of me in those pieces and knowing somebody else loves them and taking them home is a huge thrill.”

Passalacqua will continue entering art prizes around the State this year, as well as running her after-school art classes for children.

To see Passalacqua’s works, visit the Kurrajong Farm Art Facebook page.

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