Janine Whitling – Visual Artist


artist statement

For as long as I can remember Art has been a way for me to express myself in a way that was joyous. It allowed me the freedom to be playful, serious, light, documentary, brave, or whatever else I wished to express at any given moment. Nothing about that has changed since then, but today the work I produce is influenced by my own ongoing personal development. Who I am and how I fit into tho the world are some of the questions I have searched for answers to. And so I’ve spent years peeling back the masks that I have constructed based on ideals and beliefs that in fact were not truly me, but that I’d adopted based on what I’d been told by another person or by society. This unfolds into art works that incorporate philosophy on our origins of existence, belonging within society and the ever eternal quest for self-identity. Currently I prefer the mediums of paper, ink and acrylic, but I also understand that my own practice is ever changing in response to my own personal development, and am excited about the possibilities of new mediums and new forms of dialogue. Life is about love and for me art is most importantly about expressing from my heart and letting that come through each and every piece of artwork I create.


Janine was born in Beirut Lebanon, and with little memory of her early years she moved to Melbourne Australia at the age of 4. Living in the suburbs of Doncaster, life as an immigrant was difficult and at times traumatic. She was compelled to reject her heritage in order to fit in with her new surroundings, and as with most people in similar positions, spent the next 30 years trying to find who she was. This important environment allowed her the opportunity to look inward to find this answer rather than focus on external sources to define herself. It has also allowed her to find that people are the same no matter what sex they are, what land they come from, or what beliefs they have been instilled with.
Janine graduated from the Southern School of Natural Medicine as a Naturopath in 1997 but after many years found that her heart wasn’t in working in Naturopathy.  In 2001 she moved to regional Mackay and it was there that she returned to her love of Art. In art she felt she could express from her soul. In 2009 Janine completed her Masters of Contemporary Art through the University of Tasmania’s School of Visual and Performing Arts. The following year saw her as a finalist in the prestigious Blake Prize, a national prize for spiritual and religious art. Since that time she has been active in her practice and is now a member of two artist collaboratives, one locally and one internationally.
2009    Master of Contemporary Art, University of Tasmania, Australia
1997    Diploma of Applied Science (Naturopathy), Southern School of Natural Medicine, Melbourne, Australia
2011     International Florence Biennale 4th Place “Lorenzo il Magnifico” Award
2010     59th Blake Prize Finalist

solo exhibitions

2012     Veils of Illusion, Artspace Mackay Regional Gallery, Mackay, Qld
2010     Origins, DWP Gallery, Peel Street, Mackay, Qld

curated exhibitions

2013     ‘I am…’ Mosaic International Collective, White Canvas Gallery, Fortitude Valley, Qld.

group exhibitions

2013    cARTwheel collaborative at Percolator, Percolator Gallery, Paddington, Qld.
2013    Bulimba Village Gallery Exhibition, Bulimba, Qld.
2012    7th Annual Artists Book Exhibition, Artisan Books, Melbourne, Vic.
2011     International Florence Biennale, Fortezza de Basso, Florence, Italy
2011     Subject Matters, Artspace, Mackay, Qld.
2011     Kurilpa Antics, Kurilpa Hall, West End, Qld.
2011     Think Tank, Academy Gallery, University of Tasmania, Tas.
2010     Touring Blake Prize, Australia October 2010 to September 2011
2010     The 59th Blake Prize, National Art School, Darlinghurst, NSW.
2010     Art On Show, Mackay Show Association, Mackay, Qld.
2009     Subject Matters, Artspace, Mackay, Qld.
2009     Best Friends, Academy Gallery, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tas.
2009     Bounce, Academy Gallery, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tas.


2011     MOSAIC international artists collective, international group
2012     cARTwheel collaborative, Brisbane based group.

media articles

2012     The Westender Newspaper,
2010     The Daily Mercury, Sep 252010, Mackay Woman Named finalist in Blake Prize, Page 32.
2010     City Life Magazine, November 2010, Art Appreciation, Page 22.



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