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Art And Soul

Story: Linda Read | Photo: Bruce Redman
Jul 27, 2020
Art and Soul
The new Naracoopa Art Gallery, nestled in a leafy pocket of Bracken Ridge, is a treasure trove of pleasant surprises.

The purpose-designed gallery and dedicated artists’ studio form part of David and Grace Cross’ newly built home, and provides the perfect space to view the works of these two talented, accomplished, yet very different Brisbane artists.

Originally from the United States and both with degrees in Fine Arts, David and Grace met in Australia about 45 years ago after coming separately to work here as high school art teachers. 

For 23 years, they ran Naracoopa Bed and Breakfast at Shorncliffe – an old Queenslander with a gallery space in part of it – before selling up and realising a long-held dream late last year.

Their new light-filled gallery boasts sleek modern lines, tonnes of white space, and huge windows that reveal spectacular city views stretching from the mouth of the river to Mt Coot-tha. 

David paints predominantly in oils, and is inspired by the couple’s extensive travels. His latest series features classic cars, many of which are in Cuban and Spanish scenes in striking and vivid colours. He describes his style as contemporary realism, although there is an abstract element evident in some of his work.

“I’m into surfaces and light,” he said. “The way light streams through a window; the reflections on surfaces.”

Grace, a textile and mixed media artist, describes her work as “a lot more chaotic than David’s; very abstract, very contemporary”. Using paper, fabrics, stitching and antique lace, she also rust-dyes using old rusted implements.

Her current series, which examines the concept of death as what she calls the “sacred silence” and features grave and cemetery imagery, has an intriguing, ethereal quality that invites close contemplation.

“My work’s all about texture and layering, and a fusion of stitching and fabrics and metals. It’s probably very intuitive – I’ll play around with things, and I rely on my compositional sense to know what’s going to work together.”

Naracoopa Art Gallery is open for viewing by appointment, with the gallery and studio open on weekends. Art trails and other events in the pipeline.

For info, go to

Naracoopa Art Gallery
60 Phillips Street, Bracken Ridge.