Pauline Syron-Coxon, taking a leap of faith

Born and raised in the mountain valley of Bulahdela on the mid north coast of NSW, indigenous contemporary dot artist Pauline Syron-Coxon now calls the Snowy Mountains her home.

When Pauline and Anthony met, Anthony was a skier and his passion quickly became Pauline’s.  They married in 2007 and had a beautiful ski honeymoon at Thredbo. Then went over the mountains to Mt Beauty, Falls Creek and Bright, beginning Pauline’s love affair with the alpine regions of Australia.

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Moving to the mountains

After their honeymoon, they decided to buy a holiday house in Berridale and would come down regularly for holidays.  Living up the coast on the beach at Hawks Nest. Whilst driving home from Berridale one day, they were talking about what it would be like to live in the Snowy Mountains.  Taking a leap of faith they made the decision on the drive home that day to move to the Snowy Mountains.

Five months later, in 2011 they moved to Berridale.  They enrolled their son Isaac in year 3 in Berridale Primary School.  Anthony got a job with the council as a mobile library operator. And Pauline got a job as a chef at the Alpine Hotel in Cooma.

Artist Gallery

Pauline has been an artist for 17 years. When the Berridale picture framer shut up shop, in another leap of faith they decided to purchase the building and turn it into a gallery.  Pauline and Anthony’s vision was to have a mainstream gallery.  Being an indigenous artist, Pauline didn’t want to have an aboriginal art gallery for a couple of reasons.  One, she isn’t a traditional owner from the area. And two, because, they wanted to have a community art gallery.

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Not wanting the gallery just to be about their work, Anthony is also an artist. They want it to reflect everyone and everything of the Snowy Mountains, whatever that happens to be.  Everything in the gallery is hand crafted or hand made by people living in the Snowy Mountains.  Opening in July 2015, the gallery has now been open for three months and is seeing a constant stream of visitors.  “It’s going to take me a couple of years before I really get it going”, Pauline tells me.

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Solo art exhibition

Before opening the art gallery she was selling her work in the Jindabyne visitor centre and had permanent art works at the Raglan as well as solo art exhibitions.  That has lead to a solo art exhibition that she will be doing next July in Bright.

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Aboriginal dot art

Pauline’s art work is aboriginal dot art, but not the traditional sacred stories.  She captures the local landscape with her own type of art work, telling a story in her paintings.  It’s a very unique way of capturing the snow and the mountains and you can see in her artwork her passion for the mountains.  “I love the mountains.  I also love the ocean, but when I lived near the beach, I pined for the mountains.  Living right near the beach I could hear the ocean and as beautiful as it is, I love mountain streams.  I like he fresh water, I like the boulders and the creeks how they roll. The colours when you’re looking at mountain ranges. Either looking up from the bottom of a ridge or at the top looking at that distance, wow, that looks amazing.”

MOO_6654 MOO_6657 MOO_6674Isaac is now in year five in primary school and being a mum. It’s really important to Pauline for them to be grounded.  Pauline would love to take her artwork to New Zealand and to see the mountains over there.

Following your passions

Being a bit of a gypsy, Pauline likes to live in one place for a couple of years, then move on.   “I just follow my feelings of where I want to go and what I want to do and go with that.   Our journey is about following what we’re passionate about and what we love, the rest just unfolded, and it does.  Being up in the mountains is like being in tune with nature, one of the things I just love is the beauty of nature, everything that nature has to offer and the mountains, I’m really drawn to that,” she tells me. You can visit her website here

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