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What do you get when you gather together the work of 12 artists with cultural backgrounds as varied as Korean, Chinese, Filipino, European, Middle Eastern and a couple of Aussies from who knows what origins? You end up with a collection that unintentionally showcases our country’s diversity. So perhaps it’s not surprising the group call themselves the ‘Red-back Spiders’, a species that is quintessentially Australian yet has relatives throughout the world.

“We’re an eclectic lot, but what we have in common is a passion to express ourselves in painting,” explains Di Grinter, one of the artists.

Much of their art reflects this diversification. Landscapes encompass everything from sweeping rural scenes to red-hot gums to lapping blue-green waters. Depictions of flora and fauna are dainty, cute, dramatic or even ethereal. And abstracts range from the bold and dazzling to the quirky and intriguing.

“My paintings are based on harmonising conflicting concepts, sometimes east and west, while focussing on an Australian theme,” says another artist, Hyun Ju Lee.

Unlike their namesakes, you don’t have to worry about the bite with these guys. “We don’t feel the need to confront or challenge, it’s the aesthetic side of art that appeals to us,” Di adds.

By Chris Salkild

Sep 24-30, Tap Gallery, 278 Palmer St, Darlinghurst, free, tapgallery.org.au