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Franki Birrell was born in Melbourne, studied at RMIT, Melbourne and moved to Queensland in her late teens. With a background in commercial and graphic art and art direction, Birrell started painting in 1982. Her initial mediums were acrylic and charcoal but she began working with oils when Charles Blackman, a family friend, introduced her to other mediums when she worked with him when he lived in SE Queensland.

Having travelled widely, Birrell has a deep empathy for the mythological stories of the countries she has visited, particularly the stories and myths of Australia, Egypt and China. Captivated by the threads that connect them and the need for people to explain and interpret their origins in a spiritual sense, much of Birrell’s work is landscape, overlaid with the figures and features of these myths … the unseen.

Birrell’s paintings evidence a fine sense of colour, spontaneity and mystery. Working in many thin layers of oil, often in jewelled colours, she achieves a diaphanous quality to her work. The viewer is drawn into a world of great beauty and romance, eliciting respect, awe and reverence.

2014 Regional Arts House, Brisbane (solo exhibition)
2013 Rosebud Gallery, Woombye (solo exhibition)
1996 Won Maroochy Bicentennial Award for all sections, SCAG Annual Competition.
Also, Highly Commended for Open Oils or Acrylics
1995 Babette Gallery, Denmark, joint exhibition with 8 Australian women artists from Michael Milburn Gallery, New Farm.
1990 Featured artist, Clayfield College, Brisbane
1989 Queensland House, London (solo exhibition)
1986 Sefton Gallery, Brisbane (solo exhibition)
1984 Bozart Gallery, Brisbane (solo exhibition)
1983 Bozart Gallery, Brisbane (solo exhibition)
1983 Beenleigh and Maroochydore – private galleries & art shows

Birrell’s paintings exhibited at the Babette Gallery, Denmark were the inspiration behind a series of poetry by the late Melbourne poet Joyce Lee

"Franki's work reflects her spontaneity, her paintings are alive with freshness and mystery she is a proponent of the unexpected. There is passion, but the emotion is controlled. Incorporated in her canvas is an obvious sense of discipline and the empty surface is made to succumb to an evocative mind." (Brian Sweene)y