Asha The Tree of Life Koala

Artist : Yvonne Kiely

Sponsor: Belle Property Port Macquarie

Location: 98 William Street, Port Macquarie NSW 2444

Description / Inspiration

Asha is here as a symbol of HOPE, TRUST and WISDOM.

The very meaning of the girl’s name Asha in Swahili, Hindi and Sanskrit is HOPE.

Through the butterflies in her ears she can listen gently to the whispers of Children and hear their Hopes and Dreams.
Asha’s many more butterflies are symbolic of our souls and around the world, people view the butterfly as representing endurance, change, hope and life.

I was inspired to create Asha Koala during and in the aftermath of the devastating Australian Bushfires in 2019.

The symbolic design of the Celtic Tree of Life on her front is about the forces of nature combining to create balance and harmony.
The branches reach up and out to the sky and the roots reach down into the ground renewing life energy.
The Celts believed that the Tree of Life represented longevity, wisdom and strength.

Asha is painted with several layers of iridescent ocean blue.
Blue is often associated with depth and stability symbolising trust, loyalty, confidence and wisdom.
She also has many hearts of gold and is crowned with a love heart mandala.
Like her sister Mandy the Mandala Koala she has the kindest eyes that only look upon all who visit with love.

Asha (HOPE) embodies that elusive feeling that urges us on when, against all odds, we refuse to give up.
She inspires us to keep going and trust that it’s going to get better and this too shall pass.

Artist Biography

“I want my paintings to invite you into their core”

Growing up on a secluded farm in the south of Ireland seeded in Yvonne an existential sense of freedom and open spaces.
Yvonne studied fine art at Dublin’s National Collage of Art and Design.

In Australia, Yvonne studied fashion at the National School of Art in East Sydney.

Her early career in the international textile and design industry involving jet trips excitement, colour and fashion fuelled energy inspired and furthered her artistic development.

In 1990 Yvonne moved to Port Macquarie to explore her art practice in more relaxed surroundings.

Yvonne has spent the past three decades on the NSW Mid North Coast exhibiting as a professional artist and painter and working as an art tutor and an Art Therapist.

Inspired by random snippets of past visual memories, Yvonne’s process of applying texture, glazing and layering brings a powerful beauty to her translucent artworks.

Yvonne starts a working cycle by layering delicate washes and rich textures on prepared canvas.

The paintings of this award winning artist have been featured in many solo and group exhibitions and in Australian Regional Galleries
including the Glasshouse Regional Art Gallery Port Macquarie.

2009 – 2024 Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie. Finalists in six Northern Exposure Exhibitions. Local Narratives & Canvas, Cloth and Glass Exhibition.
2010 - 2024 Sunset Gallery, Port Macquarie. Numerous group & solo Exhibitions. Artist in Residence & holding permanent exhibiting space.
2011 – 2024 Long Point Vineyard, Lake Cathie. Group & solo Exhibitions.
2012 – 2024 Nexus Community Gallery, Bellingen. Yearly Solo & Group.
2020 – 2024 Art Walk, Port Macquarie. Yearly Exhibition, Belle Property.
2023 – Roto House, Port Macquarie (Embracing Seasons) SOLO
2016 - 2023 Macleay Valley Community Gallery, Gladstone. Yearly Solo & Group.
2022- 2023 Wauchope Art Gallery. Group & trio Exhibitions.
2023 Slim Dusty Centre, Kempsey. Group Exhibition.
2020 Group – “New Work” Sunset Gallery, Port Macquarie.
2020 Finalist – “Northers Exposure 6” Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie. 2020 Solo – “Now & Then” Nexus Community Gallery, Bellingen.
2019 Duo “Unlined” ,Maclay Valley Community Gallery, Gladstone.
2018 Finalist – “Northern Exposure 5” Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie. 2018 Duo - “Recent Works” L.P.V. Gallery Port Macquarie.
2017 Duo - “One Way or Another” Nexus Community Gallery, Bellingen. 2017 Duo – “This Way, That Way, Another Way” Breathing Colours, Balmain
2016 Finalist – “ Northern Exposure 4” Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie. 2016 Duo - “Seascapes & Whispers” M.V.C. Art Gallery, Gladstone
2015 Duo – “Recent Work” – Home Studio & Gallery, Home St, Port Macquarie. 2014 Winner - 39th Port Macquarie Easter Art Exhibition (print making section) 2014 Solo - “Recent Work”, Macleay Valley Community Art Gallery, Gladstone 2013 Duo -“New Work” Sunset Gallery, Port Macquarie.
2013 Solo -“Spirit Taking Form” Nexus Gallery, Bellingen
2012 Highly Commended – “Tastings of the Hastings”, Port Macquarie 2011 Finalist - Kings School Exhibition – Sydney
2000 – 2012 Breathing Colours, Balmain.
The King’s School, Parramatta. Oakhill College, Castle Hill.

2011 Finalist – “Northern Exposure”– Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie

2013 – 2020 Resident Artist at Sunset Gallery, Port Macquarie

2018 – Good Health Magazine (Art Therapy) 2015– Australian Artist Magazine– April 2015
2006 – 2019 Regular Articles in Port Macquarie News
2006 -2019 Regular Articles in Focus Magazine Port Macquarie

2014 - 2020 Commissioned by Arts and Health Australia to paint 3 one metre high fibreglass Koalas for the award-winning Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail. “Tully The Celtic Koala”, “Mandy Mandala Koala” and “Asha Tree of Life Koala”.

Location Info

Belle Property is housed in a charming Victorian cottage with a broad verandah where Asha spends her days looking out to the Hastings River and wishing passersby on foot or by car a happy and carefree day. Nearby is the outstanding Urban Grain Bakery which bakes all its sweet and savoury pastries on the premises along with outstanding artisan breads including our favourite sour dough. The coffee is excellent too. Check out the coffee machine - it looks amazing At Urban Grain Bakery you will also find the glamorous Dame Koala who may join you for a coffee under the umbrella on a sunny day. And around the corner Port Macquarie Museum hosts the Hello Koalas sculpture Forest which sits beside the Museum in the dedicated Forest Courtyard, created by Forestry NSW. Other attractions nearby include the Glasshouse Arts and Visitor Centre (Lady Lola & PK Sparkles) and the Historic Courthouse (Garage Girl & Con The Koala). If you have a desire for a cool glass of wine or mikshake, then visit Rydges Hotel, opposite the Courthouse and meet Ziggy and have a drink at the Zebu Bar overlooking the glistening river.