Cobar artist Sharron Ohlsen would prefer to describe herself as a contemporary Aboriginal artist rather than a traditional Aboriginal artist, and her work reflects that. Born in Lake Cargellico, with Ngiyampaa and Wangaaypuwan blood in her veins, she brings a truly creative vision to her town, which she says has always been a part of her.
“I didn’t finish school, as I wasn’t the best kid, but I always loved art. I used to wag school and sneak back in for art classes”.
Sharron has been working as an artist for over 30 years, with her artwork evolving rapidly over recent years. Her work is hard to define, as she utilises a wide range of objects and mediums. She creates and decorates jewellery, works on canvas, burns timber, screen-prints, moulds and creates sculpture.
The world is a canvas to Sharron, as everything she see’s becomes a potential artwork. She has painted guitars, furniture and even her own boots.
“Everything is colourful in my eyes, shapes, sizes and shades; it’s all there. I can see them like that, but what comes out on the canvas is something else”.
Sharron has worked in collaborative groups of artists, exhibited widely, and has operated a gallery of her own in Cobar. As a commercial artist, she is happy to share individual original works, or to utilise her design skills for accessories such as phone cases and key rings. Her work is a combination of colour, style, pattern and design. She incorporates traditional motifs with vivid chromatic arrays and uses the form of objects to describe the work she makes.
“I want to give people a go to understand my work. I want my artwork, and my perception of the world, to give people something that I didn’t have”.
The future for Sharron, is to continue to follow her artistic path, exploring further and further into artistic territory and discovering new relationships along the way. Her visions are captured and shared; it is up to the rest of us to bring our own interpretations.
“I tell my stories through my art; it is up to each person to bring what they want to bring to it”.