Going Solo… Ursula Theinert

It’s not every day you get a chance to explore the behind the scenes efforts of artists, as they do their “bit” to add to the cultural landscape and provide us with their unique insights into the world from their creative standpoint. So here is a “diary” of setting up a show by Ursula Theinert, who’s first solo show is at a public gallery in large country town, blessed with a great regional gallery. So lets follow part of her journey as events unfold, I hope you enjoy this as much as I have. Oh and see her own website by following her link in the artists links to the right below for more images of the show.

Steve Gray


This is an insight into the last few days of my first solo exhibition. I am going to include a short introduction and then a series of photographs and diary entries that show the sequence of events that lead to the attainment of one of the important goals, which artists set for themselves.

At the time of submitting my proposal to the gallery, on 25/4/07, I only had the concept, which was, to address the hidden problems of forest management. My focus was going to be on pine plantations to highlight the plantations of an alien species of trees which covers thousands of hectares of land, insidiously effecting the environment. I wanted to reveal that under the canopy of perceived green there is a veritable desert of pine needles affecting the habitat of our native flora and fauna.

I intended to express the landscape in human terms, as a living entity, in order to heighten passion and empathy.

The gallery took me on good faith and I worked very hard to complete the series of paintings. This personal journey culminated with the exhibition opening night on the 24th of October, 2008. It has been a very rewarding experience and one that I will to share with you through my diary.
Having created the works I was now in the final planning stages, on the weekend before the set up day 21/10/08, I made a list of the final jobs that needed to be done.


I typed up and printed my labels and then pasted them to the back of all my works on paper and canvas.

I then needed to find enough “D” rings to attach to the back of all the canvases. I also checked that all the edges of the canvases were clean, and painted them white. I also decided to measure and mark the distances for hanging just above the “D” rings so that the set up day would go smoothly. I used the formula :-
A divided by 2 +B – C = D
A = The height of the work.
B = The height from the floor to the centre line of the work, which is 1500mm.
C = The distance from the top of the work down to the top of the “D” ring.
D = The height from the floor to where you should place the hanging system.


I had an interesting wood sculpture that was a little unstable but I wanted to include it in the exhibition. So I went on a hunt around the back of our old workshop and found a beautiful rusty old piece of forged steel, which I think is part of an old railway line. It was used to go under the railway track which is then fixed onto the sleeper. It was perfect for the sculpture “Time Warp”, and after a great deal of wire brushing and hitting rust off with a hammer, and then oiling, it looked wonderful. Two holes were drilled through the steel and attached to the sculpture. All I needed to do then was to re-sand the sculpture and oil it. This was followed by a buff and polish and it was ready!


I had 16 paintings to pack into the van. Eight of them were framed and all were about 750 x 1000mm, so they were quite heavy. They went down first and then the four 1500 x 1200mm canvases, followed by the three 1000 x 2.200mm canvases. My handy commuter van has plenty of storage space. I could even put the small canvas at the end of the bay.
I almost forgot my sculpture. I wrapped it up and strapped it into the seat with the seat belt. Finally, all the packing was done along with a bag full of trifolds, business cards, and a visitor book. I also had an additional list of measurements, cleaning cloths and glass cleaner. I was a little nervous about the set up day and I wanted to be organized and look as professional as possible!

21/10/08 – SET UP DAY!
I didn’t sleep well that night. My husband, Werner, and I arrived at the Latrobe Regional Gallery at about 9.30 a.m. and had a coffee at the gallery coffee shop “So Swish”. We then got to work and were pleasantly surprised that some of the gallery staff helped us unload the van and get the work into the gallery space. They told us that there was a shared “set up day” with Monash University Gippsland Campus – Magistery Exhibition. I was also going to have a joint opening with this exhibition! This exhibition would have works from past and present art lecturers, and so they would not be able to help me set up that morning and would install my works either later that day or the next morning. All I had to do was to unwrap the works and decide on the placement along the walls. That job was easy especially when my friends and fellow artists were there to help me.

After the placement was decided all I had to do was to revise me list of works to help the gallery staff amend the copy that I had emailed them earlier. I also wrote down some additional instructions e.g. I needed two plinths – one for the sculpture and one for the trifolds, business cards and visitor’s book.

It was lovely to have Kerrie, Leonie (artists and dear friends) and Werner, my photographer, share this day with me. It was a great support and made the day a lot of fun. We all enjoyed a cup of coffee and a chat afterwards. I decided to come back the following day just to check that all was well. And of course the gallery staff did a super job!


It was very exciting to have the opening of the exhibition finally arrive. It was a joint opening and there was a large crowd and a wonderful atmosphere. Paul Holton welcomed everyone and then gave the opening speech for my exhibition – I had butterflies and a smile from ear to ear! Tony Hanning then gave his speech which was followed by the guest speaker for the Magistery exhibition Professor Helen Bartlett, who is the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Monash University Gippsland Campus. It was a grand affair!! How fortunate for me to be part of this special opening night.

After the speeches people went up to Gallery 6 and my exhibition. I was very happy to see the many friends, family and fellow students coming along to support me. It was also pleasing to see so many unknown faces in the crowd too.

I felt so fortunate to have my teachers, Peter Biram and Chris Myers, who have always been so encouraging and inspiring, to be at the exhibition. And my son James, who flew down from Cairns to share that special night with me.

Just to show you the beautiful space at Latrobe Regional Gallery.

The whole experience of exhibiting at LRG was enriching, and one that I wouldn’t have missed for anything! The exhibition space is beautiful, and the staff were professional and helpful.

It is a challenging journey to strive to be an artist and it extremely important to be surrounded by talented, stimulating and encouraging people. I recognize that I have been extremely fortunate to have so many wonderful and kind people supporting me and they have all played a part in making one of my dreams come true.

Do you have questions for the Artist? Go to the comments section at the bottom of this post and ask away.

Compiled and edited by Steve Gray Contemporary Australian Artist


10 Responses to “Going Solo… Ursula Theinert”

  1. Kerrie Warren on November 3rd, 2008 12:44 pm

    Congratulations on your first solo exhibition Ursula! A great idea to keep a diary of the exhibition process and wonderful of you to share that with others. I just love your latest creations, where the work has become pattern-like. It is very strong and really intrigues me.
    Love Kerrie

  2. Sue Clarke on November 3rd, 2008 3:13 pm

    Wow! You just get better and better. They all look magnificent. I feel special just knowing you. We would still like to buy a piece but suspect that we can no longer afford you. Well done! Sorry we couldn’t attend the exhibition in Morwell.
    Sue and Robert Clarke

  3. Lance Stephenson on November 4th, 2008 2:34 am

    Congratulations Ursula – the exhibition looks awesome. Very intriguing… Wish we lived closer and could come see in person. Love to own a piece some day. Thanks for keeping us posted on your wonderful successes.

    HUGS… Lance & gang

  4. Steve on November 4th, 2008 12:20 pm

    An intriguing interview, would love to know more from a perspective of the design development and the process of creating the works as well as the set up.

  5. Eamon on November 5th, 2008 12:37 pm

    Awesome! At last a view from the “inside” you rock! lecturers never shared this stuff with us… and artists just seemed to get frazzled when talking about the hassles and so forth. This says a lot and in an easy way. Hey babe, do you have a show at a non regional gallery happening in the future? I want to hear more about the business side of the art stuff, so as to sort out the viability of the art stuff, e.g. a show from start to finish, a diary of how many came, who buys, a profile on buyers yeah that would be good.

  6. Ursula Theinert Emerging Artist : Art Re-Source on November 15th, 2008 1:19 pm

    […] Theinert Emerging Artist In a follow up to a previous post on Ursula Theinert as she took us step by step through her first solo art exhibition, we now have her interview. For art enthusiasts everywhere wanting to know more about the process […]

  7. Ursula Theinert on November 15th, 2008 6:29 pm

    Thank you Kerrie for your kindness and support. My interview with Art Re-source has just been posted. I have been very lucky! I hope you like it.

  8. Ursula Theinert on November 15th, 2008 6:31 pm

    Hello Sue, You are a darling. The stars are on my side at the moment! Please keep in touch.
    Kind regards

  9. Ursula Theinert on November 15th, 2008 6:33 pm

    Wow Lance, your website is wonderful. You are a very brave person. Thank you for your words it has been great hearing from you. Take care!

  10. Black Saturday - A Tale of Two Artists : Art Re-Source on May 13th, 2009 8:33 pm

    […] (For regular readers you will know Ursula as one of our interviewees and also her contribution of a story on her first solo exhibition.) Both Artists will be part of at least two exhibitions later in 2009, Regionalis and Fields of […]