Margaret River Region Open Studios is a rare opportunity for a sticky beak into the creative zones of local artists, all of whom come out of hibernation to welcome guests each spring.

This annual event is free to attend and it’s the perfect place to connect with and buy directly from the region’s most talented artists. With a record 168 artists (including 43 new to the event), where do you start?

Grab a free Event Guide or browse the artists online, and you can also peek behind the scenes and share your adventure in art over on Instagram @margaretriverregionopenstudios.

In the meantime here are a few recommendations to get you started. By the way, narrowing it down to just 10? Nearly impossible – allow yourself a few days to explore if you can.

Leon Pericles in his sculpture garden for Margaret River Open Studios. Credit Tim Campbell.
You’ll marvel at Leon’s intense creativity as you enter his creative realm.
1

Leon Pericles

The King of Open Studios

One of the most immersive Open Studios experiences, you’ll marvel at Leon’s intense creativity as you enter his creative realm. The garden is lush and generous, overflowing with sculptures made of upcycled road signs, taps and other treasures. Kids gather round the koi pond and adults wander the Ancient Moss Ruins – a creation involving porous bricks and a blended moss-buttermilk mix.

Venture inside for a look at how Leon produces his collagraphs and etchings on an antique printing press. His vast studio is a treasure trove of collected jewels, ready to be incorporated into a painting, plus fabulous things collected on his travels – an alligator scull, beautifully painted violins. Even the Egyptian-themed toilet is amazing.

2

Ian Daniell

Life Size Ocean Art

A fascination with whale sharks lured Ian from London, and he celebrates Australia’s oceanic fauna with life size paintings in glorious colour and high gloss. The scale is awe-inspiring, and his cropped composures are equally exciting.

This year Ian exhibits at Shelter Brewing Co, overlooking Geographe Bay at a time of year when the annual whale migration is in full swing. In homage to the spectacle of whales breaching as they pass by, Ian is painting a humpback whale on the brewery walls.

Look out for details of studio workshops and a talk with whale researchers and marine biologists.

Ian Daniell standing next to his orca painting. Part of Margaret River Region Open Studios.
Ian Daniell celebrates Australia’s oceanic fauna with life size paintings in glorious colour and high gloss.
3

Sarah Hewer

Beauty and Fragility in the Natural Environment

Commercial photographer Sarah Hewer teams up with fellow creative Jo Perry of Dormilona winery, hanging her art among wine barrels. 2021 saw Sarah photographing the decomposing skeletons of leaves, capturing their beauty and vulnerability, strength and fragility. Her photos have a timeless, ethereal quality and the detail is superb.

Creative workshops with winemaker Jo Perry, a coffee van and dumpling truck add to the festivity, making Dormilona quite the hangout. It’s also the perfect base to explore a handful of other studios on foot; the Boodjidup walking art trail.

4

Emily Jackson

Birds and Bush in Vibrant Colour

You can recognise Emily’s beautiful work instantly – bright, bold depictions of the bush and wildlife we love so much, overlaid with banksia flowers and birds. Inspired by the region’s biodiversity and the Wadandi Track just metres from her Margaret River home, Emily depicts birds, flowers, seed pods and trees in her work.

She layers etching, lino and mono printing, drawing and painting in her art, and has even coined the term “stratisart” to describe her unique layered technique.

Emily Jackson in her Margaret River Region Open Studio. Credit Tim Campbell.
Emily depicts birds, flowers, seed pods and trees in her work.
5

Kate Debbo

Dreamy Fields of Horses

Quite the artistic family, Kate and husband Ant Debbo have taken part in Open Studios before, albeit in different studios, and this year their daughter Fin makes her MRROS debut.
Kate paints dreamy scenes of horses in gelato-hued paddocks. Playful, nostalgic and simply magical.

Fin Debbo shares mum Kate’s studio, and she’s working on intricate illustrations of local scenes – favourite coffee shops, under the sea at Busselton Jetty – all part of her gap year adventures.

Ant Debbo is a carpenter by trade, and turns his woodworking skills to the most spectacular whale sculptures, big and small. Find him at Si Vintners cellar door.

6

Deidre Bruhn

Portrait Artist with a Twist

It’s exciting finding an artist doing something totally different, and Deidre’s semi-abstract figures, inspired by life drawing are a joy. She uses mixed media and techniques; layering paint, collages, interesting shapes she’s found in magazines, sometimes framing her completed works in ornate wood.

Just outside Dunsborough set in beautiful bushland, be sure to visit Deidre for a shot of energy and vibrant colour.

Nautical themed clay sculptures by Georgia Zoric for Margaret River Region Open Studios.
Handbuilt with clay, Georgia's sculpted busts of pirates and functional ware is inspired by the ocean.
7

Georgia Zoric

Arrrrr, Me Hearties!

It’s Georgia’s first time taking part in Open Studios, and her first time unveiling her merry band of pirates and sea farers. Handbuilt with clay, her sculpted busts of pirates and functional ware is inspired by the ocean, a constant backdrop in Georgia’s life.

Georgia shares her creativity at ArtGeo Cultural Complex in Busselton, alongside four other artists Gerald Ashcroft, Ren Douglas, Barbara Weeks and Jaky Pinnock.

8

Fi Wilkie

Creating in the Converted Cow Shed

If Open Studios helps you get under the skin of the Margaret River Region, then exploring Fi’s Toot Studio is the ultimate art adventure (it’s named for the steam train that would toot as it chugged past the farm).

The rusty shed with its fireplace is charming, with plenty of space for Fi to paint and host her collage workshops. Magpies, wattlebirds, banksias and flowering gums feature in her art, and Fi will be there waiting to welcome you for a chat about art, life and this beautiful town she calls home.

Fi Wilkie Toot Studio Credit Dylan Alcock
Magpies, wattlebirds, banksias and flowering gums feature in Fi's art.
9

Christian Fletcher

A Collaborative Exhibition

Step inside Christian Fletcher’s Dunsborough gallery for a view into many of the most awe-inspiring places in Australia and the world. A gifted photographer, Christian captures light beautifully in his landscapes.

This year he’s doing it differently. He gave 15 different photographs to 15 local artists, and each interpreted Christian’s photo in their own work. Douglas Kirsop, Ros Hamdorf, Ian Daniell, Ian Mutch, and Mary-Lynne Stratton to mention just a few. The original photograph and inspired artwork will hang side by side.

10

Roslyn Hamdorf

She Loves Rocks!

Roslyn’s semi-abstract landscapes feature glorious granite boulders in all their fabulous colour and shape – think Pilbara and Kimberley orange, red and pink hues.

You’ll find Roslyn painting on the deck overlooking a dam, just outside Dunsborough, capturing these grand scenes from winter camping trips north with likeminded local artists.

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