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Celebrating Townsville Exhibition - The Artists

Educational resources regarding the artists participating in JCU Library's "Celebrating Townsville" exhibition for the T150 project

Universal Pulse 1

Universal Pulse 1, by Barbara CHESHIRE

b.1946 Australia
Universal Pulse 1 2016
Oil on canvas
76 x 123 cm
Collection of the artist, Photograph: Michael Marzik

Universal Pulse 1 2016, by Barbara Cheshire
Universal Pulse 1 (2016),
by Barbara Cheshire (1946-).
Photograph: Michael


“This artwork is about a subject I am passionate about. It represents waterways and their importance in the survival of life on earth. The ideas for the painting developed as a result of several amazing experiences at various waterways, both regionally and internationally. Each waterway I visited had the wonderful ‘Wow’ factor about it giving me a sensation of being refreshed and alive.

It wasn’t until I started to put my thoughts on canvas that I realized that the rendering of this painting needed to represent both micro and macro points of view of each landscape. On the one hand I needed to show the personal ‘wow’ factor of the waterway and on the other a universal message that when humans respect, nurture and look after our waterways we benefit with life.”


Cheshire has stated that the “techniques used to project these ideas became a very important consideration. I eventually found a technique that would personally communicate my spiritual and sensory understanding of the waterways message. The works were initially drawn up with acrylic paint using a variety of warm tones to represent the hidden blood and pulse of life. Layers of oil paint were then added. These were applied using black and white oil paint and are symbolic of the basic energy of every breath and heartbeat of nature. Such a universal message is timeless, therefore the application of this layer of the painting needed to be an unhurried one. A very fine (No.0) line brush was used in various ways to apply each stroke separately. Although this process took many days, the journey allowed me to contemplate, remember and ponder on my amazing experiences of visiting the waterways and the importance of the universal pulse they provide.”

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country

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