Astounding exhibition — Louise Saxton

'Last Gasp' by Louise Saxton
‘Last Gasp’ by Louise Saxton

Louise Saxton’s exhibition at the Gould Galleries, South Yarra was mind blowing. She pins reclaimed/recycled material onto tulle to create these stunning works. The close up shows more. If you look very closely you can see the pins. On some works she used a pin with a white end to create the flash of highlight in the eye of the bird.

Close up of 'Last Gasp', Louise Saxton
Close up of ‘Last Gasp’, Louise Saxton
'Black Prince' by Louise Saxton
‘Black Prince’ by Louise Saxton

Look how cleverly she uses the colour and tone of the lace and material to create the highlight on the back of the insect, and so makes us believe it is 3D.

Close up of 'Black Prince'
Close up of ‘Black Prince’

But Saxton’s creativity goes beyond the beauty of her works. They all reference work of other great naturalist painters. ‘Last Gasp’ was after Maria Sibylla Merian’s painting, as was ‘Maria’s Saturn’. Maria Sibylla Merian lived in the 1600s and travelled to Surinam to paint. Her story deserves a blog post of its own. Saxton has faithfully reconstructed some of John James Audubon’s paintings, as well as John and Elizabeth Gould‘s.

‘Ellis’ Paradise’  was in response to a bird of paradise painting by Ellis Rowan, an Australian botanic artist, who also deserves her own post. Look at the sumptuousness that Saxton achieves. This was my favourite, and I marvelled at the detail she created with just the perfect piece of lace and embroidery. By the way, this work was huge!

'Ellis' Paradise' by Louise Saxton
‘Ellis’ Paradise’ by Louise Saxton
Close up of 'Ellis' Paradise'
Close up of ‘Ellis’ Paradise’

These are only a small selection of her work on display. This site has a gallery of her work, including images of her pinning the lace onto the tulle. Her exhibition is on until May 31. If you can get to South Yarra in Melbourne you are in for a treat. Louise Saxton’s blog link is here. As she says on her post, none of her birds and insects will be coming home with her after the show, as they all sold! How wonderful for her to have a sell out show, especially in this climate.

(Apologies for the rather ordinary photos. And yes, I was given permission to take them. :))

11 replies on “Astounding exhibition — Louise Saxton”

I love vintage fabrics etc, so to see them worked so creatively is very special – these are astounding works, but I disagree – as I was scrolling through I thought your photography was remarkably good 🙂


Aww, thank you for the compliment, EllaDee. If you loved her work from my (very ordinary) photos, you would have loved them even more in real life! I hope she can get to exhibit in Sydney. However, I think she will have to get busy pinning her next body of work before the next exhibition.


Louise’s work is amazing isn’t it? We saw her exhibition at Heide last year and loved it. I’ve heard from friends who know her, that she’s sold most of the work from the current exhibition which is great. Always good when an artist gets recognised and appreciated. Love from Janet


It was great to see all the red stickers at the exhibition. And apparently they sold really quickly. The guy from the gallery said there people who spent too long debating whether to buy a work or not. When they had made the decision the piece had long gone to someone else.

She sources her material form all over the world. The bright pinks come from China.

Lovely to hear from you Janet!


I can’t really claim much skill with taking the close ups. My little camera is a marvel — it can get close ups like these as well as good distance shots of gargoyles on cathedrals.

She sure is a talent. Apparently she had an exhibition at Heide, which I am very sorry to have missed.

Hope you are enjoying this lovely sundshine. 🙂


Well, I am going to admire your skills anyway! 😀 I love a camera that does exactly what you want, it makes taking photos such a pleasure.

What beautiful weather we are having! I certainly am taking advantage of it, I have spent the last few days digging in the garden with a new veg bed slowly taking shape. Hope you are enjoying it too. 😀


I’m astounded at the amount of work involved in Louise’s work Anne – they’re beautiful and I can well imagine the impact they’d have “in the flesh”. I wish I was there and able to view them myself. Thanks for sharing 🙂


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