Living with Koalas -participating artist Andrew SMITH

100 Artworks for a Koala entry by Andrew Smith.    Title: ‘ Silent Australians Speak Out – acrylic on canvas

living with Koalas artsit - Andrew Smith

Andrew SMITH 

Artist based in Canberra, ACT, Australia

“…when colour, light and emotion come together, you know you have a good painting.”

100 Artworks for a Koala entry: Title: ‘ Silent Australians Speak Out 

Size: W 76 cm x H 76 cm   | Medium:  acrylic on deep edge canvas, painted with palette knife and brush 

” In this painting, titled “Silent Australians Speak Out”, I have captured a moment of time after the fires.  The dark background hides the despair we all felt after the loss of billions of mammals, birds and reptiles – the real silent Australians.   Koalas have always been silent Australians however now they are a vocal ambassador.  Not by voicing objections or screaming of their loss, but simply being there to remind us of their, and our earth’s, vulnerability.  Over the dark days of summer 2020,  we saw: Koalas with burnt feet, hands and noses trying to escape the flames; we saw Koalas drinking water from a cyclist’s drink bottle because the climate change induced drought had parched the landscape; and we saw Koalas crushed to death when greedy men bulldozed their homes.  The silent Koalas were speaking loudly to us in all forms of media…” Andrew Smith

In this painting, Keera and her Joey are speaking out to us too.  When capturing this moment in time, it was important that the painting did not focus entirely on loss.  It had to also look forward and to capture the hope that Keera and I have for the future.   Keera holds her future and the future of her species on her back.  The painting shows her joey, clinging to her, relying on her to make the right decisions for joey’s survival.   “Keera” means a beam of light.  She is both a beacon warning mankind of the impending perils and a light of hope from the midst of the ravaged landscape.  Keera and her joey’s eyes, as beaming lights, are focused on the viewer, imploring the viewer to make the right decisions to steer the world away from peril and in a direction that will conserve and protect the environment. Keera’s encouragement to us is to move forward, using the lessons and wisdom from the past to help us build a better future that includes Koalas.

Andrew Smith is a  Canberra artist who enjoys painting in acrylic and oil.  His paintings are mostly of places, flora and fauna that he observes during his explorations around Australia.   

Andrew has worked under the tutelage of renowned Canberra artist Margaret Hadfield for over 10 years.  During this period, he has developed the skills of painting with a brush and palette knife, but most of all, he has learnt to observe the subtle changes in the shapes and colours of nature. As a keen bushwalker, Andrew has immersed himself in the landscape and captured that special moment when nature is at its best. “The science of capturing colour and light inspires me and when colour, light and emotion come together, you know you have a good painting”.   

Andrew is often challenged by the destruction of natural habitat that he sees on his walks and the impact on our native flora and fauna.  This has inspired underlying environmental themes in some of his works.  Andrew’s art style is continually evolving and varies from contemporary realism to abstract.

Andrew Smith exhibits his art at various local exhibitions and galleries and in his home gallery by appointment. 


First Place in Abstract Exhibition at Queanbeyan Art Society


Finalist in the Basil Sellers Art Prize with his painting “Kosciuszko National Park, Lake Albina” exhibited at the opening of the new Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre in Moruya 

People’s Choice Award at the 35th Radford Art Show, Canberra


Best in Show Queanbeyan Arts Society (QAS) “View from Kosciuszko

First Prize in Acrylic Section at Queanbeyan Arts Society (QAS) for “White Cockatoo in Flight”

First Prize in Acrylic Section at QAS Heritage Exhibition for “Perception of Place”

First Prize at QAS for “Kosciuszko National Park, Lake Albina”

People’s Choice Award at the 34th Radford Art Show, Canberra


First prize award at the Royal Canberra Show for Acrylic and Ink painting of a Black Cockatoo


Second Prize in Acrylic Section at QAS for “Sentries 2 – Cooma Plains”

Third Prize in Oil Section at QAS for “Endangered, Red Tail Black Cockatoo


People’s Choice Award at the Royal Canberra Show for “See you Later Bill”

Best in Show award in the Queanbeyan Art Society’s Lest We Forget Exhibition for the painting “…though poppies grow ….”

Best in Show (Second) at QAS Abstract and Abstraction Exhibition for “Life”

Living with Koalas 100 artworks