About Billy Shannon...

Plexus Gallery

07 - 13
00 - 06
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Billy by Paula Quintela

Photo: Paula Quintela         

I am a visual artist, based in Brisbane, Australia, working primarily in acrylic on canvas.
For me creativity is an outpouring and an artist may have a propensity to explore many different expressive platforms. This has certainly been my experience, with my central point of stillness and understanding being in front of my easel, painting. My oscillations have been between the visual and the performing arts worlds, what I've learnt from one has informed the other. In 2009 I decided to focus solely on my visual arts career, using skills developed though my scenic artist life in both my easel paintings and mural commissions. For more detail, here's my resume.

On this page you will find a visual journey through my life and work in various arts. I hope that you enjoy the ride as much as I have!

Visual Arts

Billy at No 9 Chinatown Mall

A publicity shot for 'Subterranean Nights' a solo show at No. 9 artist run initiative in 2002
No 9 was set up by Niko Vuletic and Tobias de Maine, then a larger group of us assembled to run the gallery until we lost the space. Other people involved included artist, Sebastian Moody and the writer, Brentley Fraser

The Merthyr Rd Studio  The Merthyr Rd Studio

My shopfront studio in Merthyr Rd, New Farm.. I loved this place!

Flowers for Fibonacci exhibition  Flowers for Fibonacci

Click here to see some photos of the opening night!

The Merthyr Rd Studio  The New Farm Art Stockroom

After a while in the Merthyr Rd studio, my good friend Adam Head and I decided to take over the whole building and opened the New Farm Art Stockroom! Here we are doing what we do.. Click here for images of it and to see it's website! For the short time that it existed, it was fantastic!

The new studio

The first few days of the Bowen Hills Studio!

Studio show

Some lovely friends at the 2017 studio show

Icarus and Other Angels

A poster for the solo show, 'Icarus and Other Angels' in 1991. I was making sculptural paintings at the time and living in my studio in the old Target Building in Fortitude Valley.

A Bardon studio in 2001

Working in the 2001 Bardon studio. It was a great place, until it was pulled down..

Icarus and Other Angels

The Bardon studio, I took to the wall with a circular saw and installed some windows for northern light! A vast improvement, I worked in this excellent studio for a couple of years around the beginning of the century

The Merthyr Rd Studio  The Merthyr Rd Studio

Various manifestations of studio computers which I built.. One in St Kilda and one in Bardon set in a wheel barrow so I could move it around the studio, my first portable computer!

Charles St studio, New Farm

Charles St studio, New Farm

Painting in my Charles St. studio in New Farm, 2004. Many thanks to Juanita Broderick for the photos!

Other Arts

Early days in theatre

Here's me at 20 years old in the Queensland Theatre Company's design studio.

I started working in theatre in 1979 by walking into La Boite Theatre in Brisbane, to help with the bump-in of 'They Shoot Horses... Don't They' and basically lived there for the next 2 weeks!! I put an art exhibition on in the theatre's foyer for the next show and was asked by the Twelfth Night Theatre Company to help paint their set for 'The Threepenny Opera', my third show, and first professional gig at 18 years old...
Then there was a pile of shows painted and built and a few designs made for La Boite and the Brisbane Arts Theatre... When I was 20 I was employed for a season by the Queensland Theatre Company as the design assistant, working with James Ridewood and Graham McClean... We painted with powder pigment paint in glue size and I learnt a great deal...

Painting Nim's Island

Painting a backdrop for the feature film, Nim's Island. I was a leading hand scenic artist, in charge of murals and backdrops. I loved working on this film, and met some fantastic people!

Nim's Island bath room, 2007

Nim's Island bath room, 2007

Life in the circus

When I was between 28 and 30, I became involved with Horizon Circus in Hobart, Tasmania. I mainly did contact improvisation, juggling and clowning..

Life in the circus

Rehearsing the 'Dragon Dance' with Debbie Rodrigues, Adam Wallace and John Campbell for 'Horizon on Fire' in 1990

Life in the circus

Exhausted at the end of a training session with John Campbell, Debbie Rodrigues and Prue Dudley

Australia Day Parade  Billy makes tea!

I designed and made 2 floats for the 2001 Australia Day parade i Brisbane.. 'Billy Cart' and 'Billy Tea'

The Met in The Valley

Painting the doors for The Met nightclub, for Heads Up Film Services


A beautiful sculpture designed by Adam Head that we made and installed

Banshee  Banshee

Banshee  Banshee

Playing slide didgeridoo with my sister's Irish band, Banshee in Hobart, 1994