Carol Clitheroe

Carol Clitheroe's artwork is a visual affirmation of Carol's number one passion - the sea. When not painting it she can be found either swimming in it, diving under it or sailing on it. Water plays such a large part in Carol's life that it is hard to imagine her living anywhere but right by it. It is therefore surprising to find out that she lived numerous years on 10 acres in a little town situated between Toodyay and Northam.

When quizzed on those years living in the country (and hours from the ocean) Carol says, "It was at a time when it was a dream to move to the country and live on acreage-and I liked the name- Irish Town! The town consisted of a small church and Town hall and that was it. My husband was working in Northam and I also worked in the hospital there"

Both into water-sports, they found themselves travelling to the sea most weekends. "When the kids started arriving it was like they were born with gills, we were travelling to the sea, either North or South EVERY weekend. We were spending hours in the car with small children and golden retrievers. In the end it seemed that the most sensible thing was to move closer to the ocean"

"Tony actually used to take a coastal detour through Rockingham on his way home when he was working in Fremantle. We both fell in love with the relaxed lifestyle and the amazing coastline. Our kids have really thrived here and all of them have a really strong connection with the ocean, in fact three of them have worked on boats and all love boating, diving, surfing or skim-boarding"

Most local residents will be familiar with Carol's artwork. Carol's murals and artwork dot the Rockingham landscape. She is part of the "Adopt-a-Shelter' project which matches local primary and secondary schools with an artist with the aim to beautify a bus shelter. Three more shelters are due for an artistic makeover this year with another three earmarked for next year. A huge fantasy mural has just been completed in the children's section of the Safety Bay library, which takes up a whole wall, and the once dreary grey concrete underpasses into Rockingham City have been transformed with vibrant artwork.

Carol is also busy painting pieces for her next solo exhibition. Her exhibition the previous year was a virtual sell-out. So what can we expect to see in the new exhibition? "Lots of water!" says Carol "lots of blue and local landmarks and seascapes, underwater scenes with dolphins, pellies (pelicans) and of course mermaids. I love mermaids," muses Carol. "In fact I did a clay sculpture course in which we had to make a dragon or gargoyle, mine grew a fish tail and scales and became a mermaid!"

Carol works in a variety of mediums including acrylic, "I love the vibrancy of colour I can achieve" and will incorporate some interesting sculptural pieces into the new exhibition as well. Last years pieces included sculptures made from reclaimed driftwood featuring metal sea creatures and mermaids with braided copper wire tails and hair.

There are also plans for a few yachting excursions down South as far as Bunker Bay. Until now, they have been happily testing their skills in the local area. "The yachting is all rather new," says Carol "we'll travel as far as the wind pushes our little boat, and as long as the wine and cheese lasts!"

Carol Clitheroe