A last look at Matt Ottley Unmasked

Bidding reserve: Highest bid so far: $200

The Multi-talented Matt Ottley









The mask that Matt made



                                                       ‘ The Music of Life ‘


Before Matt unleashed his art magic, the mask looked like this:




Matt on making his Mask …

“I chose birds as a theme in my mask, mostly because I wanted to express music,” Matt said.

“One theory for the beginnings of music suggests we humans were inspired by nature both for song and for language. In imitating the intervals that birds sing, we may have chanced upon the glories of singing.

“So … to keep with the theme of masks as well, I chose to quote a melody from Verdi’s Masked Ball, which you can see on the mask.

“I painted with oil paints and finished the whole thing off with a light coat of varnish. In the design of the mask I chose not to have a symmetrical design as there is no such thing as a perfectly symmetrical design in nature.

“The mask was a lot of fun to paint, and in a strange way, working on it bought up all sorts of memories of Venice, which is one of my favourite human environments on the planet.”

– Matt Ottley


About Matt Ottley.

Matt was born in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, where he spent the first eleven and a half years of his life. His mother was a landscape artist, and as a child he and his brothers regularly travelled with her on painting excursions into the bush and around the villages of the Western Highlands.

After almost failing high school in Sydney, he lived the itinerate life of a stockman for some years on cattle stations in Queensland, before returning to Sydney to study fine arts and music. He then lived in the UK for three years, working as an equestrian artist. He is now one of Australia’s most popular children’s author/illustrators, and has been published in several different languages around the world.

Matt has worked for many years as a volunteer wildlife rescuer specialising in snakes, possums and bats.

Beyond books, Matt has produced paintings for private homes and art gallery walls. Furthermore, Matt is a musician and a composer and has released two commercial CDs. He’s currently involved in a large scale musical theatre work with Melbourne-based writer, Catherine Bateson.


Matt has also just won the prestigious 2016 Patricia Wrightson Prize, for Teacup, and he has been shortlisted for the CBC awards for his wonderful illustrations for the novel Suri’s Wall, which was written by Lucy Estela. Below, I am holding the front cover image from Teacup, at the Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre. Behind me is a wonderful exhibition of the whole of the artwork and drafts for Suri’s Wall. Visit the Centre on one of its open days, if you get the chance, and see it for yourself.





Now, all that remains is for you to scroll down and check out the sampler gallery of Matt’s work, follow the links if you would like to see or learn more about Matt and his art or music, then bid!  Remember, not one cent of the amount bid will go to Matt or me or be swallowed up by administrative costs. If at the end of next month, your bid is highest, the whole amount you pay will be equally divided between our two charities, and you will receive this magnificent work of art by Matt Ottley as a keepsake and a reminder that we are all part of the wild world, so we had better take care of it!

For more about ...

Matt Ottley. check out his beautiful website here


or catch up on an interview with him


Other work



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A peek inside Suri’s Wall

Mask bidding reserve: Highest bid so far: $200

8 Bids

  1. Robyn Donoghue says:


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  4. Ruth Nitschke says:


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  8. Lyndall Osborne says: