Maureen Bennetts is a self-taught artist with a focus on Tasmanian wildlife and nature. A late starter to the world of acrylic painting, she took up the brush in her sixties, proving it is never too late to venture into, or expand, creative pursuits.
As an active member of ABUN (Artists and Biologists Unite for Nature), an organisation dedicated to bringing awareness to the preservation and education of endangered wildlife around the globe, she has participated in nine international projects with work featured on a calendar for the Otter Appreciation Society, two projects for ACAP (Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels), and a collaborative Cape Parrot diorama being exhibited at the East London Museum over the next two years. Her most recent project is the illustration of a story included in a book on otter history and folklore, currently being printed and distributed by the Otter Appreciation Society.
Maureen's first illustrated children’s book – inspired by, and dedicated to, her young granddaughter – Forest Dwellers is an introduction to Tasmanian wildlife for children aged three years and under. Released at the Galley Museum during The Unconformity 2021 Art Trail, this hand-bound, limited-edition book, includes photographs of her acrylic paintings along with age-appropriate verse. Her second book, a story book written for older children, is scheduled to be published in 2024. Little Swifty tells the adventures of a Swift Parrot on his first migration from lutruwita/Tasmania to the Australian mainland. This story book will include paintings of the endangered Swift Parrot along with Tasmanian flora and fauna.
Creative expression has been an important part of Maureen’s life having previously written two books; The Horse in Harmony – Yoga for Horses and Growing Food All Year Round in Tasmania. She has been a successful carved candlemaker and dabbled in many other crafts over the years. Professionally working with horses and other animals as well as in various horticulture pursuits for much of her life, she is finding that the observation skills and connections she has gained are assisting her in producing detailed studies of the amazing beauty found in the natural world.