Introducing a local artist, Di King

Gallery manager Vanessa Flynn (left) and Artist Di King (right). PICTURES: DONGYUN KWON

Dongyun Kwon

A long-time Healesville resident has opened an exhibition ‘Spirit of the Valley’ at YAVA Gallery & Arts Hub.

Di King, the artist of the exhibition, focused on conveying the essence of all that has made this region her home for many years.

Everything in Yarra Valley was her subject including LaLa Falls, Steavenson Falls, resplendent valley views, and even the local people.

“Yarra Valley itself was my focus for this exhibition,” she said.

“It’s just all my surrounds like the cooks in Healesville Hotel, Badger Weir, the waterfalls, cattle and sheep.”

There are some points visitors have to think about to get themselves immersed in the exhibition when they are there as what King focused on while she was painting.

Viewers are recommended to find some factors which make them marvel ‘wow’.

“Artists like to create their work with a wow factor,” King said.

“It is about the balance, composition, perspective and tone.”

King sometimes paints three to four paintings of the same subject with different lights because the light can change composition of each painting.

Framing is also intentional in her paintings.

King wants to draw the viewers in by giving them a feeling that they are looking at the paintings through a window.

Local visitors should easily relate to the paintings because they may have seen it in their area.

“I really tried to depict what we have here in the Valley,” King said.

“It’s not just about the gum trees and the rivers, but also about our activity.

“It is about our grapes and the vines, people’s working and their happy moments.”

One of the interesting points of her career is the fact she was a keypunch operator, data processor, computer operator and bank teller.

An artist demonstrating their work in a shopping centre opened her eyes up to what she really wanted to do for the rest of her life.

King said she later found out that her previous experience was actually crossover with her art career.

“Even when I was a keypuncher, I was able to design Christmas cards for the company,” she said.

King also got a chance to paint nine Australian celebrities for a charity auction in 2005.

The celebrities were Bruce Rowland, Julie Anthony, Peter Brocklehurst, Marina Prior, Hugh Jackman, Rhonda Burchmore, James Morrison, Tommy Emmanuel and Graeham Goble.

She met all of them in person except for Hugh Jackman.

“I was given permission to use his photo to paint by his agent,” she said.

The experience led her to be on Good Morning Melbourne as well.

“That was a bit scary, but I went on with Graeham Goble,” King said.

“It was a very exciting radio interview.”

Spirit of the Valley is on until 8 October from Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm at YAVA Gallery & Arts Hub.