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MY PHILOSOPHY With a passion for travel, culture and community and the environment, my art which is often figurative, generally focuses on these themes. I work prolifically and use a diverse range of techniques and media including welded steel, kiln formed glass and ceramics. The materials in each work relates to the concept of the piece. My favourite projects are when I travel to regional communities and create Public Art for them from their old scrap metal. My work happily resides in collections in Scotland, Wales, USA and in Australia. I have public art in the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame, Longreach; Nelia; McKinlay; Julia Creek; Airlie Beach; Picnic Bay; on the Magnetic Island Forts Walk; Townsville; Ravenswood; Charters Towers and Paluma.

UNDER THE GLASS CEILING Exhibition In her first solo exhibition, Sue Tilley gives you a 3D sneak peek into the secrets of successful women in traditionally male careers. Each piece is based on a real woman who has taken on the challenge of a career which is predominantly the domain of males. Why did they succeed, and why choose that career? The concept is delivered with a serve of humour and irreverence. Each of the pieces is mildly erotic, a play on the oft heard innuendo that women have had to use their ‘assets’ in order to succeed among men. The artist proposes that they do indeed use their assets – determination, skills, intelligence, perseverance, and challenges the viewer to consider why these women have followed these particular careers … for the Power? Money? Challenge? Adventure? Or as a result of circumstance?

Hustler Ultimate protection of your personal space. No two keyed alike.


Girdle for a Grazier

Maestra Marin will lead you to Crescendo.

Barbed wire to keep out trespassers & protect your boundaries. Halter neck ensures a smooth ride.

Simone Young, of the Australian Opera is the only other female conductor of a major orchestra. In Europe not one major orchestra is conducted by a woman, and females comprise less than 25% of players. Until recently, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was by policy male only.

Margaret left the bright lights of Adelaide for love, to become a grazier’s wife on a remote sheep property 250 Km SW of Longreach. Her days were filled with mustering, crutching, shearing and fencing.



High visibility, guaranteed not to crack under heat.

Rev up your love life with this serviceable ensemble.

26 yr old Janine loves the outdoors, and enjoys the diversity in her job replacing windscreens. A revolutionary device capable of lifting 20kg of glass to provide that extra bit of power needed to safely lift a windscreen opened the career of Autoglass technician to females, who typically have less upper body strength than males.

While her friend’s mothers were domestic goddesses, the artist’s mother worked with her father in his mechanic’s workshop. Over time she, despite a lack of trade qualifications, became a capable motor mechanic, who also could ably panel beat and spray paint cars.


BIRD SCULPTURES ‘Me Duck’ Old Cutlery

The birds for me, are a caricature for some of the real characters who are part of my family & community – a tongue in cheek celebration of eccentricity, character and individuality. A bird lover, I have had many opportunities to observe similar characteristics in our feathered friends. Wary the Cassowary 2012 Vintage Barbed Wire,

R: ‘Noddy’ - found vintage metal

Public & Community Art In May 2012, the tiny township of Nelia in Western Queensland gained three new residents - Rex, Olga & Dusty - a family of Brolga Sculptures. Made from vintage scrap metal donated by the community, the sculptures celebrate the natural environment and history of the Sheep and Railway industries in the region. It is hoped that the artworks will be a tourist draw card for the village. The project was funded through a RADF grant from the McKinley Shire Council.

As part of an Animating Spaces project called 50 Shades of gOLD, Sue created a sculpture walk throughout the historic gold mining township of Ravenswood.

Sculpture Trail Ravenswood

5 Plate steel silhouettes of historical figures, along with 5 ‘Carnival Standee’ photo props tell the story of infamy and notoriety during the gold mining days.

50 Shades of gOLD, Animating Spaces project 2015

This project was jointly funded by the Qld government ‘Arts Link’ and the Charters Towers Regional Council.

LONGFORD 2011. Lifesize. VINTAGE AGRICULTURAL SCRAP Tom Greer was a stockman, having spent his life on Longford Station west of Longreach in Western Queensland. A car accident left Tom with high level Quadriplegia, robbing him of his mobility and independence, and the freedom that comes with living in that big landscape. Tom gained a new focus in his life, when as a result of a Spinal Injuries Association initiative, ARTscape 2011, he was introduced to sculptor Sue Tilley. Sue works predominantly with found and recycled materials that have a direct relationship to the concept of each artwork. She was captivated by Tom’s story and determination, his ingenuity, sense of humour and can-do attitude. They collaborated to create Longford, a life-sized sculpture of a stallion. The creation of a horse was an obvious choice to immortalise Tom's story and to celebrate his life. Longford is a symbol of Tom's strength and spirit, rising against the challenges that stood in his way. The greatest challenge in the project was the modification and improvisation required so that Tom could hold and control the welding torch. Tom designed the modifications himself, his mental ability more than making up for his physical disability. Between Tom's ideas, and the combined skills of his occupational therapist, Sue and his brother-in-law, Bob Ellis, Tom was able to weld unassisted. Each component in the sculpture has a direct relevance to Tom's former life on the land. Some materials were brought in over 1000 km from stations near where Tom lived. Longford was greeted with incredulity on the unveiling, with ARTscape organisers and audience astounded at the scale and beauty of the sculpture. The collaborators were grubby, weary but triumphant! Longford had a busy calendar, being exhibited as a symbol of what can be achieved with determination and cooperation, at local and regional galleries and public events. In November 2011, Longford won the People’s Choice Award at Ephemera In the Mist, and was be installed as an exhibit in the Stockworkers Gallery, at Australian The Stockman’s Hall of Fame in

Many Hands A 4.7mt tall stylised steel hoop pine tree has a spherical format kaleidoscope set into the trunk. The tree represents ‘community’, while the kaleidoscope is a metaphor for how newcomers to a community see it with new eyes, untarnished by local prejudice.

Soldja Buoy A Disability Action Week Project, and aided by clients of a Disability Support Organisation, , Sue worked with community donated vintage metal to create a sculpture of a soldier grace the new Botanical Gardens at Cannonvale. This project was short listed for the Qld Regional Arts Awards in 2013.

The Coolibah Tree McKinlay Created during a welding workshop at the ‘Crafty Old School House’ The McKinlay Coolibah Tree, celebrates the history of the area, and recognises that even though the population of a small outback town seems small, there is a much wider community who belong to it. The project was a welcome distraction from the pressure and stress that the locals face due to drought. The sculpture is made from vintage metal objects collected from local station dumps. The trunk represents the McKinlay village, and the major branches are the 4 main roads that intersect in the village. These are oriented in the actual direction of the roads. The roads to the properties are indicated with antique metal artifacts. The leaves are cut from old roofing iron and there is a leaf for each person currently living on each property. Participants in the project ranged in age from 10 to 73, with local kids making ceramic birds to add to the tree. The project was funded by the McKinlay Shire Council and the Queensland State Government through the Regional Arts Development Fund.

Cammoomilli Curlew & Chicks

Picnic Bay School, on tropical Magnetic Island, near Townsville, celebrated its centenary in 2013. Sue was commissioned to create a sculpture to celebrate the milestone. The Stone Curlew was the perfect subject, being iconic to Magnetic Island. They are made from the old school rainwater tank, and other vintage metal Real curlews, of haunting cry, and masters of camouflage nest in the area immediately around the artworks, and seem unperturbed by the newcomers.

One Fish, Two Fish, NO Red Fish, NO Blue Fish Made from donated cutlery, ‘One Fish’ is a comment on the global over fishing crisis. This sculpture, made for ‘Strand Ephemera, outdoor art event, was purchased and donated to the City, in memory of a resident’s late husband. It is now on permanent exhibition at the Riverway Arts Centre, in Townsville.

Ol’ Mate Created for the new Townsville Men’s Shed, their mascot ‘Ol’ Mate’ is the result of scouring member’s sheds for old tools and other metal objects.

Spirit of the Light Horse Julia Creek RSL Anzac Centenary Commemorative Sculpture. 2015

Created from donated antique and vintage steel components from the McKinlay Shire, Spirit of the Light Horse, or Samson, as the horse is locally known, took 7 weeks to build in scorching temperatures of up to 47 degrees C. Completed in November 2014, the sculpture was officially unveiled on Anzac day 2015. Click here to read more about Spirit of the Anzac

Gubul The Rainbow Serpent Gumburu Environmental Education Centre, Paluma North Qld

Left: ‘C Thru U’ Sculpture Street Installation, Right: ‘Red’ Flying Fox Charters Towers LATTE Animating Spaces

Above: Green Ant Sculptures, Forts Walk, Magnetic Island

LITTLE RED DRESS Exhibition Femininity- delicacy, daintiness, tactfulness, softness, virtue – has apparently little place in a metal sculptors studio. Yet dressmaking – a traditional ‘gentle’ art is sculpture, with the same concerns – form, structure, line and aesthetics. These pieces play with the concept of femininity contrasting couture with industry, urban culture with country reality, delicacy with ruggedness. The French titles add a Parisienne Fashion feel, and implied sophistication.

GLASS PANELS Inspired by the beauty of the world around us, these pieces capture the details, colours and textures of the tropical environment. Each panel is formed by hand cutting and piecing sheet glass, and adding glass frits and powders to recreate the fabulous patterns and textures of the earth’s strata. The panels are fused in the kiln, cold worked and polished then re fired to slump over texture to add a third dimension. Each panel is unique, and presented on a slab of polished granite.

FEMALE FORMS Glass Sculpture

These forms of fused and slumped glass are a metaphor for human emotions and relationships, in particular those between men and women. Like molten glass, relationships are dynamic and fluid, yet when the passion cools can become brittle and fragile.

Glass Sculpture ‘Head Space’ 2012 Kiln formed recycled glass. Acknowledging the tragedy of youth suicide. Like glass, young men appear strong and strong, yet can be brittle, fragile and vulnerable - so easily broken

Birds regularly appear on canvas too ...


Sue Tilley - Artist & Sculptor - Portfolio  

A selection of work from Australian artist and sculptor Sue Tilley. She works predominantly in found metal and glass, and working with the c...