Tully The Celtic Koala

Artist : Yvonne Kiely

Sponsor: info@hellokoalas.com

Location: 2/1A Blackbutt Road, Port Macquarie NSW 2444

Description / Inspiration

Tully, The Celtic Koala represents the ancient cultures from Northern and Central Europe – mainly Irish, Scottish and British however also includes parts of Italy, Spain, Portugal and France. Many immigrants from these countries have enriched our Community in the Hastings district.

The Celts possessed an ebullience that has left a characteristic mark on Australian culture:
They are proud, frank, humorous, insolent, boastful, sometimes quarrelsome and affectionately high spirited!

The swirling, spiralling patterns of “Celtic Art” are characteristically fluid, in which the shapes of nature, birds and beasts dissolve into spectacular intricate never ending knot work.

These classic Celtic designs have been treasured for thousands of years; hence the Koala’s body is metallic gold to signify “Treasure” – just as our Koala is our “treasured" animal.

The pattern on Tully the Celtic Koala’s back starts with two Koala heads eating gum leafs which lead into Celtic knots and extend out into two large wings on each side to symbolize his shared existence amongst the winged creatures in the trees.

To further symbolise the Hastings Community Celtic Koala has a big open heart on the chest extending into bunches of grapes (our rich viticulture) above a jewelled golden challis to savour the flavours of our history and geography.

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

Hello Koalas Gallery & Gift Shop Open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm Parking available and easy access. Over 16 Hello Koalas Sculptures on display. Pick up a free Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail Guide and Map too and ask the friendly staff about finding your way around town and the Hello Koalas sculptures on display in the region. There are 90 already and one on its way. Phone 0416 641 482 7 days for enquiries.