100 Artworks for a Koala entry by Ronelle Reid.    Title:  “He knew the history, but wasn’t content with his fate”  – watercolour pencil

Living with Koalas artist - Ronelle Reid

Ronelle  REID 

Artist based in Queensland, Australia. 

Art about cohabitation with a twist. The rules no longer apply with fish swimming in the antlers of an antelope and butterflies flutter around an eel…

100 Artworks for a Koala entry: Title: ‘He knew the history, but wasn’t content with his fate’

Size:W 40cm x  H70cm |  Medium: Watercolour pencil on mounted paper 

“Flamingos were once native to Australia, the inland lakes once teemed with these leggy pink birds but due to changes in the climate their habitat became uninhabitable and they became extinct here. The Flamingo’s fate may be ancient history but the koala is looking down the barrel of a similar fate if we don’t help” Ronelle  Reid

Inspired by my love of animals, I use ink, oils and watercolours to create detailed, visual narratives that explore the relationships between animals and their habitats. My style is a combination of colourful, naturalist work with quirky compositions that pair species who don’t coexist or share habitats. I invite viewers to ask why the rules of land, air and sea no longer apply, and wonder why fish happily swim through the antlers of a bongo antelope and butterflies flutter around a moray eel.  As a dedicated artist, I’ve spent countless hours studying animals in museums, using the taxidermic displays to understand and convey their forms. However, it wasn’t until I started work with RSPCA that my experience with animal welfare gave me a new perspective. Now, fuelled by this understanding, I combine my formal education in painting, screen and printmaking to plan each composition, purposefully breaking the rules of taxonomic categorisation. In doing so, my work draws attention to the interconnectedness between species and invites viewers to see how they are being forced to adapt in rapidly changing ecosystems, or risk extinction. 

These pairings also invite people to engage in the character and personality of the individual animals, challenging them to see them as more than just objects to be studied and classified.  Aware that much of Australia’s rich biodiversity is found exclusively on this continent, and that we have one of the highest rates of extinction globally, my next series will inspire people to learn more about our vulnerable native animals and do more to protect them. 

My quirky, naturalist portrayals preserve and highlight the beauty and diversity of animals right in our backyards, asking us to imagine if the kookaburra, the koala, or wallaby were lost to us forever.


  • 1997 Bachelor of Visual Art with Honours Griffith University, Qld College of Art
  • 1993 Studied Printmaking at the Brisbane Institute of Art
  • 2020- Finalist- Lethbridge 20000 Small Scale Art Award
  • 2020- Regional Arts Development Fund, Arts QLD and Logan Arts Council, Australia
  • 2020-BEMAC Creative Booster Pack
  • 2020- Liquitex Sponsor’s Prize Petite Pieces
  • 2019- Finalist- The Naracoorte National Art Prize
  • 1998- Melville Heysom Memorial Award
  • 1997- Asia Artslink Studio Residency, Manila Philippines
  • 1996- Karl and Gertrude Langer Memorial Award

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2021 (proposed)- Urban Menagerie- Logan Art Gallery, Logan
  • 2007- Anthropomorphism- The Art Factory Gallery, South Brisbane
  • 1997- Noah’s Inventory- Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane

Group Exhibitions

  • 2020- Wandering with the Wild, (Online) Aspire Gallery, Brisbane
  • 2020- Lethbridge 20000 Small Scale works exhibition, (Online) Lethbridge Gallery, Brisbane
  • 2020- All Creatures and Wild Things, RQAS, Petrie Terrace Gallery, Brisbane
  • 2020- QWASI- International Animals in Art- Logan Art Gallery, Logan
  • 2020- Petite Pieces- Aspire Gallery- Paddington, Brisbane
  • 2020- Creative Relief- Aurecon Building, Brisbane
  • 2019- Bump in the Night- The Old Auction House, Kyneton, Victoria
  • 2019- The Naracoorte National Art Prize- Naracoorte, South Australia
  • 2019- Diminutive- The Old Auction House, Kyneton, Victoria
  • 2019- Petite Pieces- Aspire Gallery, Paddington
  • 2018- Nundah Art Show, Nundah Festival, Brisbane
  • 2018- Ipswich Art Awards, Ipswich
  • 2018- RAW Showcase, The MET, Brisbane
  • 1997- Fresh Cut- Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane
  • 1997- Toe-Hold- Metro Arts, Brisbane
  • 1996- Materials, QCA Gallery, Brisbane
  • 1996- Solitary Confinement- Boggo Road Gaol- (co-curated)

Publications and Interviews


instagram: @ronellereidart


Living with Koalas 100 artworks