From tattooist to budding artist, Saira Spencer unveiled her captivating Moonlight collection, showcasing artworks that portray the Great Southern night sky. Her artistic prowess now graces the canvas at the Vancouver Arts Centre, illustrating the nocturnal journey of the moon through the night. Using a range of mediums including acrylic paints, PVA, aerosol, pigment pencil and photography, the abstract surrealist-inspired work pays homage to Albany’s night sky. Spencer, who lives on an 7.2ha property near Denmark, said she grew fond of the moon’s movement while watching it traverse through the night sky. “For quite a while, I was watching the moon from our door and it would follow the arc of our paddock so I wanted to capture that movement,” Spencer said. “A lot of my art tends to portray transition and capture the idea of movement and lineality in nature and also within oneself. “I wanted to use this opportunity to create an art project that forced me to pay more attention to nature.” The centrepiece of the exhibit is a transition series that intricately captures the moon’s journey across the night sky. “There are six paintings as a continuous series that depict the movement of the moon from 8.50pm until 11.20pm,” she said. “I felt like if I shape the entire idea around having to pay attention to where the moon was at any given moment I would be able to fully capture it.” Spencer worked as a tattoo artist in Perth before relocating to the Great Southern and it’s where she learnt the most about approaching creative disciplines. “It taught me a lot because it was a job and you still have to show up even if you’re not in the right creative head space. “Tattooing is the same as any other art form because there’s tools you have to navigate and master. “But it gave me a hunger to explore other art mediums because tattooing is very restrictive. “It gave me reference to what I’m working with but it also allowed me to explore other areas of art.” The 35-year-old has always been a keen painter, yet it is only recently that she has fully explored her artistic talents. “I’ve painted my whole life really, but only started taking fine art seriously in the last three-and-a-half years,” she said. “It’s always been a source of nourishment. “It’s the fruits and vegetables for my brain and something I would do as a response to deal with life. “Art is a form of expression and it’s a language that doesn’t require words but you can still get your point across, even if it’s only to talk to myself.” The budding artist said that there were three driving factors behind her decision to exhibit at the Vancouver Arts Centre. “Vancouver is such a beautiful large gallery and as an early career artist, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to sort of take over a space like that. “When I found out about their supported exhibition program, which specifically targets experimental and new artists, I wanted to develop work that was fit for purpose and fit for the space. “Secondly, I wanted to make something that was sort of my biggest, the most ambitious work that I’ve ever made. “I’ve never done a fully conceptual exhibition before so I wanted to make something shaped around really deliberate ideas. “I also wanted to make something that the general public could enjoy and understand. “Art should be something that everybody can enjoy so I thought doing something centred around the moon means anyone and everyone can walk in and connect to it in some way.” Spencer has displayed her art through an exhibition before, but not on the same scale as Moonlight. “I’ve run two small solo exhibitions, both in Perth,” she said. “One of them was displayed in Denmark at Scotsdale Hall later. “And I have also curated a group exhibit at Northcliffe Painted Tree Gallery.” Spencer hopes that this gallery provides a launching pad for new work that she is constructing for the future. “I have got a piece in the works that’s a five-metre canvas that captures the rock bed and creek line on our property. “I left it on the ground outside so it would get footprints from different marsupials that have walked over it during the day and night. “I wanted to incorporate textile work into that and I would like to explore soundscape going forward.” The exhibition is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm and is showing until November 24.