Huon Valley News

Creating positivity and joy with Huon artist Libby Dyer

Exhibition: Planting the seeds of joy and happiness for our tomorrows
Location: ARTBOX and the Huon Valley Hub (23 Main St, Huonville)
Dates: Monday 22 January 2024 – Thursday 29 February 2024

Artist talk with Libby
Date: Wednesday 31 January
Time: 5.30-7.30pm
Location: Huon Valley Hub (23 Main Street, Huonville)

The first thing that you will notice when you meet local artist Libby Dyer, is her love for colour. This not only shows through her art, but also her clothes, earrings, and glasses; she radiates sunshine on an otherwise grey Tassie summer day.

There was a time where Libby only wore black, despite working with colour. Six months before her grandmother passed away, she told Libby that she needed to connect with her art and become her authentic self.

Libby never looked back.

Libby started out as a landscape artist but now mostly works with alcohol ink. It is more expressive and unpredictable than paints, which appeals to Libby.

“I had to learn to go with the flow. And from there, I created techniques that I haven’t seen anywhere else,” Libby said.

Kelly North Creative
Art as therapy

Libby used her art to overcome self-doubt and anxiety when she first started. She wanted to remind herself that you can always find something positive in life.

One of her inspirations is artist Yayoi Kusama, an avant-garde sculptor, painter, and novelist. Kusama had a troubled youth. She travelled to America but went back to Japan where she booked herself into a psychiatric hospital which offered art therapy. Even though she was already an established artist, art therapy saved her life.

Libby channels her feelings and emotions through her art, just like Kusama; and people connect with her through her art.

Connecting people through art

Libby shares her artworks through her social media and combines these with quotes that are meaningful to her. This helps followers connect with Libby and share their own stories with her.

“My work is very much about spreading positivity and joy. We all deal with daily stresses and anxiety. [Creating art] is a process of mindfulness, being calm and expressing what you’re feeling,” Libby said.

“To me, it’s gifting someone a memory or a feeling that I felt myself. You know you’re not alone. It’s not just aesthetically pleasing for their home, but it’s that connection, sharing something with someone.”

Time to Bloom
Recurring themes

There are three recurring themes in Libby’s work.

Flowers are about the mind; you plant the seeds today and reap the flowers in the future. Trees are about the bonds that we build with others. Tree bark represents embracing others, and her brother.

Libby lost her brother when he was only 35 years old. Creating art helped her process her loss and remember him.

“Closeups of bark are about putting your arms around someone… and my brother. It is about connecting with people who have experienced loss and moving on from that. It’s about remembering the good times, and the memory of them.”

Exhibitions, artist talk and workshops

Libby and her husband moved to Tasmania not long ago. It was the close bond with her nan and her love of nature that helped Libby in her decision to move.

“I feel [my nan] knows this is where I need to be right now, and we love it. I look outside my studio at the mountains around Huonville, and nature embraces me. I feel home,” Libby said.

Time to Bloom, Libby’s entry in the Henry Jones Art Prize (photo by Libby Dyer)

Libby creates art all the time. Soon after arriving in Tasmania, she entered the 2023 Henry Jones Art Prize and made it to the finalists. She took part in the 2023 Huon Valley Studio Art Trail and is preparing for her exhibition in ARTBOX and the Huon Valley Hub.

As part of this exhibition, she will hold an artist talk and workshops in the Huon Valley Hub.

“It’s a hard slog, being an artist. But I love it. I get to do what I love every day.”

Artist talk with Libby

Date: Wednesday 31 January
Time: 5.30-7.30pm
Location: Huon Valley Hub (23 Main Street, Huonville, Tasmania)
RSVP: Planting the seeds of joy and happiness for our tomorrows: exhibition talk Tickets, Wed, Jan 31, 2024 at 5:30 PM | Eventbrite
Drinks and nibbles provided.

Alcohol ink workshops with Libby

Date: Saturday 10 February 2024
Time: 2-4pm
Cost: $80.72
Booking: Libby Dyer Art Alcohol Ink Workshop Tickets, Sat 10/02/2024 at 2:00 pm | Eventbrite

Date: Sunday 25 February 2024
Time: 2-4pm
Cost: $80.72
Booking: Libby Dyer Art Alcohol Ink Workshop Tickets, Sun 25/02/2024 at 2:00 pm | Eventbrite

Workshop location: Huon Valley Hub (23 Main Street, Huonville, Tasmania)

Article by Miranda Wageman. Photography by Kelly North Creative. ARTBOX and Creative Huon are an initiative of Huon Valley Council.