Check out the first of my Canberra Journeys temporary art installations in Dickson- Gateway Arch on Woolley St. Made in collaboration with landscape architect Anna Chauvel at Place Laboratory for the Woolley St Project.

Statement by PLACE Laboratory and Jodie Cunningham Art

 Woolley Street in Dickson is well known locally for being family friendly, multi-cultural and having a mix of great inexpensive food.  However, after years of neglect and changing public expectations of how an eat street could be experienced, Woolley Street has been identified as needing a major streetscape upgrade. Grounded in place-based principles, the City Renewal Authority has chosen to trial potential changes to transform the street and measure public opinion as part of the Woolley St. Project. The Woolley Street Project will test a series of public realm interventions to give people a firsthand experience of what an improved Woolley Street could look and feel.  For 8 weeks, starting at the end of September, Woolley Street will be the focus of activations including changes to the streetscape, installation of additional street furniture, and testing alternative traffic conditions and parking. The activations will also include a series of events designed to attract more visitors to the area, encouraging them to explore and engage with local businesses.

The goal of the interventions is to:

·       Create a street for people

·       Re-engage the local community and traders with Woolley St.

·       Define a shared civic space for activity

·       Create economic opportunity for local traders

·       Improve access

The key interventions include:

  • The Gateway | The gateway welcomes visitors to Woolley Street and builds upon the local eat street character. The artwork, designed by Jodie Cunningham Art, contains Dickson and Canberra specific symbols inspired by variety of local sources. The gateway establishes an instantly recognizable identity for Dickson and celebrates Woolley Street’s diversity of cultures.

  • Eat Street Pavilions | The eastern footpath of Woolley Street is being widened to accommodate an outdoor eating area. Pavilions will provide shade and shelter and a place for friends and families to gather, eat takeaway or just stop and stay in the street for longer. The location of the pavilions defines a possible heart of Woolley Street as a place for future events and activities. 

  • Lighting | Lighting is a key component of creating a welcoming atmosphere at nighttime. The existing lights will be repainted and dressed up with coloured panels, designed by Jodie Cunningham Art, Solar festoon lighting will be hung in the canopies to add another layer of ambient lighting. 

  • Furniture | People will have a greater choice of place to sit and enjoy the street. Different types of seating and materials will be tested for practicality and durability.

  • More bike racks | Extra bike racks will be installed to encourage people to ride to Woolley Street.

  • Woolley Street Vibe | Colour, fun and family friendly are reoccurring themes linked to Woolley Street’s vibe. Colourful street murals on the footpaths by Jodie Cunningham Art, coloured umbrellas and furniture and fun seating and play elements, inspired by the noodle bowl – a popular dish associated with Woolley Street will bring more colour and fun to the street.

  • More Green |The street will be greened with plants, and a temporary lawn area will provide a sunny place for people to sit in the sun. 

  • Pavement to Plaza | Temporary changes to the street are experimenting with Woolley Street becoming more pedestrian focused. Different experiments will help people imagine what Woolley Street could be if it was a plaza. Street mural will be applied to the plaza to demarcate the pedestrian areas. As part of the pavement to plaza experiment alternative parking and traffic arrangements will be tested. A big bonus will be 15 minute parking bays for people picking up takeaway.

 Feedback on the Woolley St. Project experiences and evaluation of the success of the experiments will be collected throughout the Woolley St. Project.  The information gathered will inform the brief for the design of future upgrades.

Decoding the Symbols - Canberra Journeys

Jodie Cunningham Art, in collaboration with PLACE Laboratory, created the artwork used in the gateway, street murals and light poles, specifically for the Woolley St. Project.  She has named the body of work, Canberra Journeys. Concept images can be seen on the Project Page Canberra Journeys.

The Canberra Journeys artworks celebrate cultural diversity in Canberra and reflects people’s connection with Woolley Street through the idea of a journey - large and small journeys, life journeys, ritual journeys like dinners celebrating connection with family and friends, and key life milestone journeys such as first date, first break up, pregnancy, graduations and birthdays.

Canberra Journeys brings a local Canberra feel to the multi-cultural Woolley Street. It is colourful, energetic, immersive and sensory.

The art work is a composition of contemporary symbols, created to celebrate the idea of ‘Diverse Dickson’- the central premise of the City Renewal Authority ’s Dickson Place Plan.  Inspiration for the symbols has come from a variety of local sources including the Marion Mahoney and Walter Burley Griffin 1911 Plans for Canberra, patterns from local suburban architecture - like the 1960s breeze blocks seen in many older Dickson homes, and a popular Woolley St. specialty – noodles. Local Canberra wildflowers, that grow on the nearby Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie, have been included in some of the symbols reinforcing Canberra’s identity as the ‘Bush Capital’.  The local symbols have been infused with universal symbols with multiple cultural provenance to enhance the theme of diversity and reinforce connections with ‘Chinatowns’ around the world.  This includes the pinwheel, a symbol of celebration and movement, and a reference to both play and ‘turning luck around’, conveying good luck to the people of Canberra.

The different symbols are organised into compositions using the hexagon shape - a direct reference to the geometry of the Burley Griffin plan. The pattern of interconnected hexagons imitates the structure of a beehive - a metaphor of the interconnected Canberra community.

A colourful and warm palette of red, orange and pink with touches of green, blue and purple unifies the collection of symbols and emanates a happy atmosphere of festivity and celebration.


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M16artspace Studio Open Day - Saturday August 3 2019 - Preview new work from the 'Canberra Journeys' series

New work from my Canberra Journeys series available from my studio @m16artspace m16artspace annual Open Day - next Saturday 3 August 11-4pm, 21 Blaxland Cres, Griffith. All welcome! Special thank-you to Anna Chavel @placelaboratory for the commissioning of this body of work and Dave Appleton for his professional commercial printing services.

2019 | Canberra Journeys | Kimchi Generosity

2019 | Canberra Journeys | Kimchi Generosity

2019 | Canberra Journeys | Lucksa & Silk

2019 | Canberra Journeys | Lucksa & Silk

2019 | Canberra Journeys | Picnics & Fireworks

2019 | Canberra Journeys | Picnics & Fireworks

Bloom | Exhibition opening 6pm Thursday 18 October | M16artspace


18 October - 4 November | Gallery 2 |  M16artspace | 21 Blaxland Cres Griffith

Opening night 6pm Thursday 18 October

In the exhibition ‘Bloom’ artist Jodie Cunningham exhibits a body of works on paper that use the languages of geometric abstraction, colour and symbolism. They journal her experiences of conflict, anxiety and heartbreak; and the joys of connection, love, and gratitude. Like an alchemist she transforms the energy of complex and sometimes negative emotions into vibrating, ‘blooming’ compositions.

The process Cunningham has used to create these images has been developed in the context of her busy life as a single mother and educator. In the rare moments she has to herself, during the early hours of the morning when sleep evades her, she creates images as a way of processing emotions and thoughts.

On a daily basis she immerses herself in colour, shape and pattern in an almost therapeutic meditation – resulting in an eclectic collection of image ‘seeds’. Selected images are further developed and refined, then printed in archival inks on gorgeous cotton rag paper.

Image: Jodie Cunningham, 2018,  A little much for me , archival ink on cotton fibre rag 305gsm

Image: Jodie Cunningham, 2018, A little much for me, archival ink on cotton fibre rag 305gsm

Canberra Gratitude Project - please help me with my research...

I'm conducting some research for an art project on what Canberra people are most grateful for and would really appreciate your participation by answering the three questions - this should take less than a minute and your answers are anonymous. Please SHARE as the more responses I get the better. Thank-you so much for helping me out.Warm regards Jodie

To participate in the survey answer the questions below:

M16 Artspace Studio Open Day | 28 July 2018


Fantastic day at m16artspace open day! Thanks to all the lovely people who visited and the wonderful @citcanberra visual art students who came for my studio talk.

Photo by @drommeren_creations

Photo by @drommeren_creations

'Obsessive Impulsion' Artists Talks - next talk Friday 15 June 2018, CCAS

Next talk  6pm Friday 15 June 2018

Join David Broker, Anne McMahon, Michelle England and I for a panel discussion talking about our art practices and works in our exhibition ‘Obsessive Impulsion’ @ccas_canberra 6pm Friday night 15 June at a fabulous ACT Writers event ‘Winter Warmer’ with wine tasting with Celine Rousseau from Eden Roads Wine, podcasting and readings. Tix available from


Previous talk 1.30pm Saturday 19 May 2018

Artist’s Talk: Obsessive Impulsion - Confidential. Jodie Cunningham in therapy with David Broker. Saturday 19 May 1.30 PM @ccas_canberra galleries Gorman Art Centre @ainslieandgorman.

Join us for Obsessive Impulsion: Confidential - Artist Jodie Cunningham in ‘Therapy’ with Curator David Broker, this Saturday 19 May at 1:30pm, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Gorman Arts Centre. @ccas_canberra. Photo: Alexander Boynes.

The vibrant colour and flamboyant design that defines Jodie Cunningham’s digital prints and sculptures is deceptive. Her obsessively optimistic practice reflects the stresses encountered in her everyday life as a single mother, artist, and teacher. This illusory positive mood comes from a “dark place” and her work represents a fragile balance between the pursuit of happiness and abject depression. In a one-hour psychotherapy session (including time for questions), David Broker delves into the private motivations behind Cunningham’s practice and attempts to guide her on a path to self-actualisation where her talents and potentialities are fully realised.


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Obesssive Implusion | Canberra Contemporary Art Space | Gorman Art Centre | 27 April to 23 Jun 2018

My work is being shown at CCAS as part of Obsessive Impulsion. Opens tonight 27 April at 6pm!

Huge thankyou to David Broker, Alexander Boynes and Alex Asch.

Obsessive Impulsion curated by David Broker, featuring Jodie Cunningham, Michele England, U.K. Frederick, Ann McMahon, Suzanne Moss

Impulsion is a driving force; the impetus, the motive or influence behind an action or process. Obsessive Impulsion is an exhibition that focuses on desire as it is revealed through the methodologies of five diverse artists. In both concept and technique, each practice reflects an obsessive flamboyance that drives the artists to produce work with an appearance of excess and yet, such are the skills at large, there is no sense of overreach. Jodie Cunningham confesses to being a “chromophile” with an obsession for colour, circles, pattern and “the delights of Perspex”. U.K. Frederick delights in the tensions created between flannel shirts that might have been worn by Kurt Cobain and the abstracted light passing through the fabric in her evocative series of photograms. In the dextrous hands of Ann McMahon, recycled bread bags index domestic ritual through complex colour field weaves that mirror the grid of a thirty-one day calendar. Alarmed at inexorable environmental degradation, Michele England blends activism with domesticity in eccentric works where kitsch household objects carry the “great moral challenge” that faces the planet. Suzanne Moss’s commanding paintings underscore an essentially egalitarian approach to notions of creativity, which she sees as an inestimable force that might seize the author at any moment. Painting, gardening, cooking, doing repairs, for instance, all inspire moments of creativity. Obsessive Impulsion is an exhibition in which each of the artists presents work based on personal obsessions and we, the audience, are able to follow the lengthy, painstaking processes through which they come to realise their ideas.

Text: David Broker CCAS Website


Strength Totems 2017

Strength Totems 2017

 'Talking to the Tax Man About Poetry- Data Portraits’ at Artnotapart 2018

Come and see my  'Talking to the Tax Man About Poetry- Data Portraits’ at Artnotapart 2018. 1-7pm Saturday 17 March, Location: 'Makeshift'  Ground floor Nishi, New Acton.

All works  are for sale on my website

'Talking to the Tax Man About Poetry- Data Portraits’ is a body of abstract portraits of eight Canberra artists who are all also arts educators -  it visualises the realities of being a practicing artist in the current global economy using contrasting materials and forms to visualise financial and personal data. For artists it is increasingly difficult to survive and make meaningful work - it has come to a ‘climax’ with the realities of the hardships of  art making and art consumption creating a potential loss of cultural activity and discourse in our society.  The ongoing assumption in our culture that artists should work for free, ‘because they love it’ or because they will ‘gain exposure from it’ contributes to this struggle and prevents sustained investment in the arts by both makers and consumers. The work highlights the tension between our desire as artists to make works with meaningful relationships to the world around us with just trying to make a living and survive. We’re in debt, we’re  balancing creative lives as artists with financial and work pressures. We balance mortgages, meetings, micromanagement, parenting and domesticity with colour, ideas, discourse and intuition.  

Using a survey, two different types of data were collected from the eight artists: demographic data about each artist’s income, employment, family statistics etc., and personality data, including about each artist’s preferences for favourite colours, activities and dreams.   The sculptural works contrast material and form to highlight the financial realities of being an artist - what interests the ‘The Tax Man’ (bureaucracy etc.) is represented with concrete blocks; while the uniqueness and quirkiness of each participant artist -  ‘The Poetry’ (creativity etc.) is represented with coloured perspex and discs. 

The dimensions of each concrete block represents the artists’ total yearly income from all sources - art and other jobs (L), the cost of living (W), and total hours spent working (H). Each block has a recess which represents  these variables for their art practice only.  The ‘poetry’ component of each artist is represented by the towers of perspex discs emerging from the concrete blocks. There are three towers on each block, two represent the artist’s personality and one represents their family and pets. In the two personality towers the size and colour of each disc  corresponds to the answers the artist gave in the personality survey.

The graphic image ‘Competency Assessment Audit Meeting’ is a  two dimensional  representation  of the ’data portrait maps’,  a meetings of the artist/educators, ‘climaxing’ to a crescendo of stress and potential destruction caused by the bureaucratic and financial realities of maintaining a sustainable art practice and fighting for the integrity of arts education in an economic rationalist environment.

Further information at

Data Portrait | Bluebells | 2017 | View 1 | Photo-Brenton Mcgehee

Data Portrait | Bluebells | 2017 | View 1 | Photo-Brenton Mcgehee



My donation for a great event - CCAS's Annual Fundraiser 'Quickdraw'- 17 Nov 2017

I just dropped off the work 'Ainslie Deco- Pink'  that I donated to the CCAS's Annual Fundraiser 'Quickdraw'- It looks like it's going to be a great night with fabulous artworks for punters to win!

If you would like to come along this Friday 17 November you can buy a guest ticket for $50  or a winning ticket for $250 go to:

From the CCAS newsletter...

Following from the success of last year’s unique fundraiser, Canberra Contemporary Art Space once again invites you to get involved in the fun. Quick Draw is a novel idea where the punter’s names are drawn from a hat and randomly matched with an artwork. There is a small gamble involved, as the price of a ticket buys a work, but no one knows what they will receive until their name is drawn!

This year you have the opportunity to take home an original artwork by some of the Australia's hottest established and emerging artists including: 

Alex Asch, G.W. Bot, Robert Boynes, Mariana del Castillo, Jodie Cunningham, Marie Hagerty, Nicci Haynes, Sanne Koelemij, Waratah Lahy, Rosalind Lemoh, Dan Maginnity, Peter Maloney, Mandy Martin, Katy Mutton, Derek O'Connor, Millan Pintos-Lopez, Dionisia Salas, Erica Seccombe, Bernie Slater, Peter Vandermark, and the list goes on!

All funds raised will go directly to artists exhibiting at Canberra Contemporary Art Space’s Gorman Arts Centre gallery. Artists’ fees have always been a high priority for CCAS, and Quick Draw 2017 will ensure that these fees continue into the future. Comprised by 50 of Canberra's hottest artists in varying stages of their careers, Quick Draw is a fantastic way to get involved and support the Capital's vibrant cotemporary art scene. The event will start at 7pm on Friday 17th of November 2017, and CCAS will provide entertainment and food. However, due to Quick Draw being a fundraising event there will be a cash bar. The 'Winners Ticket'ensures you'll leave with an artwork, however if you'd just like to come for the party a 'Guest Ticket' is also available. Make sure to get in quickly, tickets are limited.


Undercurrent Design Markets | November 24-26 | National Portrait Gallery

I will be having a stall selling my jewellery (recently rebranded as Lime Flamingo Design) at the Undercurrent Design Markets November 24-26, National Portrait Gallery, King Edward Terrace, Parkes. Fri 5-8, Sat & Sun 10-5.

The Undercurrent Design Market showcases an array of contemporary, leading edge Australian-made design treats. Just in time for Christmas, peruse delightful gifts and objects made from a wide range of materials, including ceramics, jewellery, textiles and glass. Avoid the Christmas rush and shop directly with the designers to buy something unique.


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Shine Dome Reimagined: Opening Sunday 12 November at 4pm

Come and  take a closer look at my work at the  exhibition...

SHINE DOME: REIMAGINED: 12 November 2017: 4:00 pm: EastSpace : 44/40 Queen Elizabeth Terrace, Parkes ACT 2600

Shine Dome: reimagined is a signature DESIGN Canberra exhibition inspired by the spirit of Modernism – a celebration of the creativity and experimentation for which Canberra’s mid-century architecture is acclaimed. Contemporary craft artists and designers were invited to interpret Roy Grounds’ iconic Academy of Science, also known as the Shine Dome or Martian embassy.

Featuring work by: Michael Ashley, Julie Bradley, Zoe Brand, Jodie Cunningham, Sophia Dounoukos, Elizabeth Faul, Sue Hewat, Ruth Hingston, Maret Kalmar, Mary Kayser, Rene Linssen, Jenny Manning, Patricia Parker, Dr Fanke Peng and Cuiyu Yang, Narelle Phillips + Harriet Schwarzrock, Jing Shen, Sophi Suttor, Annie Trevillian, and Daniel Trevino Quiroz,  Jennifer Trimble and Peter Quinn.

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'We Dance Together' Graphic Intervention in Civic Square 1-26 Nov 2017

The artwork ‘We Dance Together’  in Civic Square is a collaborative graphic intervention project created for Design Canberra Festival 2017. It is a large scale public artwork painted with brightly coloured chalk paint in the centre of Civic Square, Canberra.

The work was designed by local artist Jodie Cunningham. Jodie is a Canberra based visual artist and maker of objects and jewellery. She has an MFA, UNSW; BFA with University Medal, ANU and was the recipient of the Fulbright Scholarship for the Visual Arts.

A self confessed chromofile Cunningham has an obsession with colour, circles, pattern, symbolism and the delights of perspex. Her perspex objects are vibrant constructions of colour, that play on the qualities of materiality and light. She uses patterns and symbols sourced from local architecture and domestic spaces that explore the containment of time and memory in the membranes of the home and the architecture of our city.

‘We Dance Together’ was painted by Jodie with Geoff and Pete Filmer from Graffikpaint, and volunteer Project Coordinator Sara Edson.

The artwork is an assemblage of abstracted geometric symbols referencing modernist aesthetics,  Canberra’s  iconic architecture – including the Civic Square precinct; and cultural symbols for community, strength and connectivity. It pays homage to the history of Canberra, in particular Mid Century Modernism and the earlier Art Deco period, drawing on patterns and colours from architectural forms and  interior decor.

The artwork invites viewers into the square through the fountain via ‘stepping stones’ of aqua and lime circles and encourages people to dance on its geometric shapes, celebrating the commonalities that bring us together.