Award-winning contemporary watercolour painter Libby Derham will develop a new ground-breaking body of work, Birdsong Cymatics (Visualising Birdsong through Cymatics and Watercolour) in collaboration with sound artist Dr Leah Barclay, University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) and Kabi Kabi Elder, Lyndon Davis.

Pushing the boundary of her medium, Libby incorporates the calls and songs of the avian world by transcribing them into mark-made lines of pencil and masking fluid, often creating ‘signatures’ for individual birds, particular those of populations in declining numbers.

Under the mentorship of Dr Barclay, Libby will explore and produce cymatics (the visualisations of sounds) in the studio at USC, using watercolours (mixed with vibrations) and her contemporary watercolour paintings to produce a series of photographic works and moving images. To learn ways to further connect to the ‘voice of the land’, she will create the new series alongside Lyndon Davis, who she recently worked with on ‘The Keeper’ project, while he produces further work for his ‘Beeyali’ series.

As a fourth-generation watercolour artist, growing up in England, Libby was taught by her family to really observe nature; her love for the natural landscape and birds grew from this. She is passionate about celebrating the local, Sunshine Coast landscapes, and the fauna that habitat this magnificent region.

Main Image: Libby Derham working plien air.

View the catalogue from her recent debut solo exhibition, Transcribe.

Video, Sensing the Landscape: Through a Painter’s Eyes about her process that also celebrates the Sunshine Coast and what the region has to offer to inspire artists.


We invite you to support us to promote the development and prosperity of the arts in our community. Donors to the Sunshine Coast Arts Foundation will be recognised at the following levels:

  • Donor – $2 to $999

  • Fellow – $1000 to $24,999

  • Benefactor – $25,000 to $249,999

  • Principal – $250,000 and greater