Artist: Dale Leach
Location: 159 Pacific Drive, Port Macquarie
Crusader Koala resulted from a collaboration between Dale Leach, artist illustrator and Sea Acres Rainforest Centre, a NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service visitor centre, in Sea Acres National Park.
Crusader Koala is the champion of threatened species in the endangered littoral (coastal) rainforests of the Macleay-Hastings area on NSW’s mid north coast. The masked Crusader protects rainforest animals under the shelter of a living cape of lush subtropical rainforest.
Twelve of the thirty-one threatened species in the area’s littoral rainforests are represented. The Grey-headed Flying Fox and the Common Blossom Bat. The Red-legged Pademelon, the Spotted-tail Quoll, the Long-nosed Potoroo and the Eastern Pygmy Possum. The Powerful Owl, the Wompoo Fruit Dove and the Eastern Osprey. Stephen’s Banded Snake, the Green-thighed Frog and the Pale-headed Snake.
The trees and leaves on the cape and the fruits scattered in the background, represent the diversity of rainforest plants found in Sea Acres National Park. The Black Apple, White Beech, Bangalow Palm and Strangler Fig. The fruits of the Tuckeroo, Elderberry Panax, Blue Lilly Pilly, Black Apple, Cheese Tree and the Cunjevoi.
Dale was born in Geelong, and grew up travelling between, Frankston and South East Queensland with her parents. After backpacking through Europe and America, visiting London, Paris and New York, she was determined to go to an art school and make art her career.
In 1982 Dale completed a Diploma of Art and Design (Painting). Then in 1984 Dale completed a Graduate Dip of Education and worked as an art teacher at Hamilton Technical School for the next four years. She then travelled through SA, WA and arrived in the NT and lived and taught in Darwin for ten years as part of Sanderson High School's Art Dept. On returning to Queensland Dale set about undertaking a number of professional development short courses including Marketing your Art and joined a number of Art Associations and began exhibiting her work on a regular basis.
Dale's work is quirky, vibrantly colourist, narrative driven, usually drawn from personal experience and surroundings.
More recently Dale was one of five Australian artists invited to design a poster to hang alongside The Book About Death Australia exhibition at the Tweed River Art Gallery, which opened on the 18th of October 2013.
In April 2014 The Road Across the Range show opened at Harbourside Gallery in Tewantin.