Mandy, The Mandala Koala

Artist : Yvonne Kiely

Sponsor: Connect Hearing Port Macquarie

Location: Connect Hearing Port Macquarie, 9 Lake Road, Port Macquarie NSW 2444

Description / Inspiration

According to artist Yvonne Kiely:

Mandy is all about love and healing.

I have created large chalk mandalas on the Glasshouse forecourt for Port Macquarie’s annual community ArtWalk and felt inspired to design a Mandala Koala. Mandalas are sacred pieces of artwork used in Art Therapy to evoke healing. The word ‘Mandala’ means ‘sacred circle’ and is derived from the word ‘mandra’ which means ‘container of essence’.

The Flannel Flower, Australia’s symbol for Mental Health Awareness, is at the centre of the large mandala on Mandy’s back. The pattern evolved with eucalyptus leaves encased in gold, separated by containers and love hearts. Blue and white containers hold the seeds for planting koala trees. Green and gold containers hold brickwork and flowers, a combination of manmade and organic matter reminding us that the plight of our much loved koalas lies in our ability to balance their environment. The smaller mandala on her chest is a celebration of nature: seeds, flowers and leaves.

On her head, a bonnet of flannel flowers with mystical colours. Mandy wears her hearts on her sleeves in iridescent colours. Through the hearts in her ears she listens with love to secrets and stories whispered by children and adults. Her kind eyes see only with love all who come to visit. People of all ages love mandalas and I hope they will love Mandy too.

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

Mandy The Mandala Koala is enjoying her new home at Connect Hearing Port Macquarie. As the artist Yvonne Kiely describes Mandy's design, "Through the hearts in her ears she listens with love to secrets and stories whispered by children and adults. Her kind eyes see only with love all who come to visit" so the selection of Mandy to make her home at Connect Hearing in Lake Road was very apt. Connect Hearing Port Macquarie is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and is close to the Munster Street roundabout and its well known shops such as Kenny Little's Fruit and Veg and two minutes away from Port Macquarie CBD. Hello Koalas Margret Meagher says, from first hand experience, "the staff at Connect Hearing in Port Macquarie are exceptionally friendly, helpful and skilled".