About the Artist- Gerhard Hillmann

Cairns North Queensland
Gerhard is a mixed media artist who has established himself in the world of fine art photography. He was born in Cairns, Far North Queensland, Australia in 1973. It was in the small eclectic rainforest town of Kuranda that he grew up (Located in the Atherton tablelands above Cairns, North Queensland). His childhood was spent exploring & getting lost in the local rainforest. Living in the tropics, endlessly camping & diving on the Great Barrier Reef taught him to appreciate the natural world. This curiosity of nature evolved into an awareness of the unlimited creativity it releases.  A healthy obsession with intricate detail and all creatures great and small is evident in many of his artworks. While, a desire to share this never-ending experience of discovery with others is his motivation to be a nature based artist.

Gerhard at work, emerald creek, queensland, photo by Steven Nowakowski


Gerhard Hillmann: Australian artist from North Queensland, Australia. mixed media, fine art & photography. Multi-award-winning & highly collectable artworks, which are represented in public and private collections globally. Contemporary artworks that focus on human nature and the art of seeing. He strongly believes that humanity and nature are one and aims to reconnect people with nature in a creative way. Stimulating peoples imagination and appreciation of the natural world.


“My interpretation of the organic world is embedded deep within each artwork. Because I believe we are all part of the landscape & not separate, many of my images explore this human nature connection. I feel compelled to respond to the environment in a creative way & aim to promote a deeper appreciation of nature, which I hope inspires others to be creative & enjoy the natural wonders.” Beyond linguistics, an image has the ability to transcend language barriers and is open to individual interpretation.Through patient observation unique details in nature slowly become visible, this art of seeing inspires me to develop works which describe this experience of discovery. I attempt to capture the essence of a particular subject from the inside out. Depth, colour and a sense of movement are all applied to bring the viewer into the image. By immersing yourself in one of these artworks; subtle, intricate & vibrant details may suddenly appear, making the invisible visible, as the more you look, the more you see.”

mt lewis creek photo of gerhard by steven nowakowski

Clear rainforest creek in the high altitude rainforest. photo by steven nowakowski

Gerhard has won numerous art awards in recognition of his work. A highlight was in 2002 when he won the gold prize in the Nagoya International Design Competition in Japan. This allowed him to travel to Japan and attend a design workshop with other designers. That same year he also was awarded the Darebin contemporary artprize in Melbourne.

photographing birds with a monster lens

In 2007 after a brief holiday to Cairns, both he and his partner Natasha moved back up to the tropics. After 15 years of travelling & study overseas it was time to come home. They now live in Kuranda, with their two young daughters. On Sundays Gerhard can be found at the Port Douglas markets where he sells his latest images to people from all around the world in a tropical setting. Every year he releases a new series of images which are exhibited in a gallery and are then available as limited edition prints.

Frogeye, the art os seeing.

Mixed Media, Fine Art Photography, Organic Photo Montage & Illustrative Photography. Because he often changes the creative process he uses to create an image it is almost impossible to simplify in words this sometimes complex and varying process. He enjoys the visual balancing act of merging mediums in harmonic images, which challenge peoples perception of art.

Gerhard caught in the act of photographing a cassowary. Photo by Steve Parish

“Photography plays a big part in my creative process, however some of the designs start as an ink or pencil sketch. Traditional mediums like painting, drawing and even sculptural work are also used in the process on occasion. When fine art skills are merged with a photographic medium amazing details are brought to life.  Regardless of which mediums I choose to work with, one thing is certain and that is my preference of using many layers and colour. This style of layering, blending and merging has taken me years to develop & continues to evolve in a progressive way. I call it organic photo-montage and aim to create still life images which are anything but still. They are intended to be full of movement, life and depth, which portray a hyper realistic view of the world by jumping out at the viewer. This seamless blending of content allows memory & imagination to merge in unique ways. Many ideas are explored and some artworks are abstract enough to allow the viewer to interweave their own stories within them, open to interpretation.

Steve Parish and Gerhard Hillmann at the markets Port Douglas, qld Australia

Steve Parish and Gerhard Hillmann at the markets Port Douglas, qld Australia

In reality digital processing has replaced the traditional darkroom, but I see this as a positive thing. I  remember replacing chemicals from the darkrooms with radiation from the computer screen. The computer allows me to combine everything I have collected and created in one seamless composition. Photography and technology continue to evolve, but, I still shoot some of my landscapes with a 6×17 panoramic film camera to get the high quality resolution I am after.”

Tools of the trade, Stretching canvas

Tools of the trade, Stretching canvas

With a background in illustration & painting I recognised the potential of fine art photography as an artform early on.I spent over a decade immersed in traditional photography, art & design studies around the world, starting at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. After leaving California I studied in Germany, but I never got used to the winters. When I  returned to Australia  I finished my studies in Adelaide & Melbourne. A fine art degree in photography, many exhibitions & numerous awards has all encouraged me to be artist. I have been creating mixed media photographic artworks now for over 20 years. There is still a lot to learn and share, which is what makes being an artist so exciting.

Gerhard immersed in his work, photo by steven nowakowski

To keep up to date with the latest images and creative adventures visit the facebook page Naturesface Art