The Woolloongabba Art Gallery has a new exhibition.

What makes this show unique?

The artist is almost blind.

Lily Greer reports.


This small, partitioned garage is what Brisbane artist Stephen Nothling calls his studio.

Stephen is a realist painter, but he’s also vision-impaired.

With less than 10 per cent vision in his right eye, and a retinal deformity in the other, Mr Nothling’s methods are unique to say the least.

Stephen Nothling, Artist: “I can work on it for hours and hours and hours and sort of get lost in it and put all this detail in it, but as soon as I sit back, I can’t see it.”

He says the small studio is all he needs, because he can’t stand more than one metre away from a painting before losing sight of it.

His latest exhibition “Subject to Change Without Notice” captures everyday life in Brisbane.

Alex Shaw, Woolloongabba Art Gallery Director: “It’s about him being who he is and he’s a Queenslander and he’s always enjoyed painting just stuff around the house like taps and flowers and things like that.”

The smell of oil paint fills Stephen’s small backyard studio.

He’s just started work on his latest project, portraits of his family.

Each one taking about a week to complete.

The exhibition’s received critical acclaim, with many of the works already sold.

But Stephen isn’t taking himself too seriously.

Stephen Nothling, Artist: “Like, I’m not adverse to a self-portrait because I like to take the mickey out of myself, basically, so and if I am a galah, I am a galah.”

The show finishes this week.

Lily Greer, QUT news.