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131 Kismet Kate the Artist


This story is about my dear friend and fellow artist Catherine Fitz-Gerald and for some reason the above musical has always come to mind when I think of her, so therefore it goes without saying that when Kate decided her next art exhibition was going to be centered around songs, that seemed like a natural fit to me.

painting of cherries by artist cate fitz-gerald on artist marie jonsson harrisons art blog

Life is a bowl of cherries

As a matter of fact this exhibition called “Inspiration and Memory” is a celebration not only of Kates wonderful paintings, songs and music that she remembers her mother singing and teaching her as a child but also to celebrate; Marjorie her mother’s 80th birthday.


I have known the Fitz-Gerald family since I was 17 years old (just yesterday,lol)and somehow they all seem like close relatives to me, like cousins.  I first met Kate’s brother Lewis Fitz-Gerald while we were both appearing in a theater production at the Festival Theater in Adelaide.  If that name sounds familiar to you that is because Lewis went on to find fame and fortune as a sought after actor in such films as Breaker Morant, ABC’s “I can Jump Puddles” and just lately “Crownies” also on the ABC.  Of course Lewis also appeared in many other exciting films, theater and television performances in between.

The rest of my “cousins” in the Fitz-Gerald family are Mark a photographer, Rosemary a lawyer and Leslie works as a teacher for Autism SA.  Their father Brian is now retired but for many years had a business and even employed my mum for a time.


That something extra that the whole Fitz-Gerald clan has in common is their incredible community spirit and fundraising – the old-fashioned values of pulling your sleeves up and getting stuck in!  If someone is down on their luck and need a helping hand – who you gonna call right?  To cater and make the food for a 200 people soiree would be just another day at the office for them all and particularly so for the matriarch of the family;  Marjorie Fitz-Gerald, O.A.M.,J.P  who really at 80 is still not showing any signs of slowing down.

She is currently raising funds for Adelaide Festival Center Foundation, Independent Arts Foundation, supporting the Arts in S.A. and providing scholarships for young emerging artists.   Marjorie has been the chair for countless organizations such as Festival Fringe, South Australian Country Arts Trust, Adelaide City Ballet and was the Mayor of the Town of St.Peters.   In 2007 she was awarded the S.A. Great South Australian of the Year for the Arts and later the Premier’s Award for lifetime Achievement, the 2010 Ruby Award.

Springing from this family history it is no wonder that Kates career as an artist took off right from her first exhibition in 2004.

So when Kates new exhibition opened  at Greenhill’s Gallery  with the band Take 5, playing the music and Kates beautiful paintings hung on the walls.  Kate in her own right is a celebrated artist and collected Australia wide, well known for her fruit paintings particularly which hang in at some of the best addresses around the country.  Her Artist Statement read;


“Nature as inspiration is not a new concept to artists, but somehow it always feels new, fresh with something urging you to create.  To explore the tension between light and shadow, lost and found edges, texture, glaze, memory and the emerging expression of it.

We speak of memory being ‘green’ and my memories of gardens and the songs I learned from my mother as a child are forever intertwined.  So each of these paintings link to a word of inspiration and a song from my childhood.  Even now as I walk through the many gardens I have been privileged to share, melodies spring to mind as each vista or detail emerges.”

Each painting have names like; Renew, Inspiration, Home, Courage, Care, Promise, Serenity, Wonder and Joy.

For instance there is Enthusiasm with the lyrics from “Young at heart” by Carolyn Leigh – ‘Fairytales can come true…if you’re young at heart. For it’s hard you will find to be narrow of mind, if you’re young at heart…and life gets more exciting with each passing day..’

And I leave you with the words for the painting Resilience (lyrics by Bob Thiele & George Weiss) and made famous by Louis Armstrong “What a wonderful World”;

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

I see skies of blue, and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces, of people going by
I see friends shaking hands, sayin’, “How do you do?”
They’re really sayin’, “I love you”

I hear babies cryin’, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more, than I’ll ever know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world
Oh yeah

Till next time happy painting and sculpting and maybe singing to you all,

Love Marie xxxx  (c)

If you enjoyed this art blog you may also like this one 110 Artists Lunch

Why not come and have a look at Marie Jonsson-Harrison’s PAINTINGS FOR SALEGICLEE PRINTS FOR SALE and SCULPTURES for sale or WALLBASED SCULPTURES.  Enjoy an original artwork on your walls or perhaps one on your bed ARTnBED.

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