Road trips are quite the happening thing here at Murray Arts, especially when your footprint extends as far and wide as Corowa to Corryong! Last month on a visit to Corowa, we visited a new gallery space, The Wacky Bird Gallery recently opened in Corowa, owned and operated by local artist Christine Upton. Image: Christine Upton at The Wacky Bird Gallery, 37 Edward Street Corowa NSW

Vegemite or honey? I love both together on hot toast on a cold winter's afternoon.

Sunset or sunrise? The pre-dawn of sunrise, magic, celebrated by the birds, followed by the warmth of the first rays when out walking with my dog.

Melbourne or Sydney? Both have great art galleries but I couldn't do what I have done in either place!

Local Flavour - What inspires you most about living and practicing as an artist in the Murray region?
Real winters. Wide open spaces to wander around, without interruption. The changing sounds, smells and patterns in nature.

The Art Life -  What are your top 3 tips for someone thinking of a life in the arts?
1. If you don't love and respect your artwork, don't expect anyone else to.
2. If you are truly addicted to creating, in any form associated with the creative arts, then you will find a way to 'play' for the rest of your life.  Be prepared to do other jobs to supplement your income.
3. In reality visual artists produce luxury items that less than 5% of the population are genuinely interested in buying, but we have a connection with a richness that others can only dream of and money can't buy.

You are living the Art Life Dream with the launch of 'The Wacky Bird' Gallery in Corowa – can you share any steep learning curves?
Doing a Small Business Management course, having training in Marketing and helping establish Gallery 294 in Corowa and doing their books, allowed me to do a proper business plan before establishing Wacky Bird Gallery. Understanding the reality of the marketplace is essential in striving for success.

How did your Gallery achieve it's namesake 'The Wacky Bird'?
To those who know me, the gallery is named after me. To those that just drop in, it is named after the wacky birds that I make out of scrap timbers and large palm fronds. The name is also an ice breaker to make people of all ages feel comfortable when walking in. Corowa is a small country town and I want everyone to enjoy art as much as I enjoy creating it. I want people to smile, learn not to take everything so seriously...and that's why it's not called The Edward Street Gallery!

WACKY BIRD GALLERY: 37 EDWARD STREET COROWA

M: 0427 332 790

Open 10am-4pm every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday

www.christineupton.com

www.facebook.com/Christine.Upton.Artist

www.wackybirdgallery.com.au

www.facebook.com/Wacky.Bird.Gallery

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