early adventures, education & other

Davson's Solo Journey Across Australia

1980 - 1983 . . . QLD, NSW, VIC, SA & NT

In late1980, Davson sold her small acreage in the Lockyer Valley of South-East Queensland and set out on a journey of discovery. She was accompanied by her dog (Abby), appaloosa horse (Sam) in a Handy Horsefloat, a Honda 175 motorbike and a 1949 AEC Regal Mark III bus.

They travelled south to Sydney and Melbourne, then across to Adelaide. In 1981 she reached Darwin, then travelled east to Townsville and back down to Sydney, but never in a straight line!

This venture ultimately involved three buses (due to various breakdowns) and numerous shorter trips between Queensland and Victoria. During this multi-year odyssey, Davson began consolidating her jigsaw-puzzle themes and imagery. Her travels became the apprenticeship for Davson’s career as a freelance artist.

These trips were funded through her own savings and enterprise. She sold her artworks and advertising space on the bus. She promoted sponsor’s products and wrote articles for magazines such as the Australia’s Western Horseman. Several hundred media broadcasts and print articles followed Davson’s progress and adventures.

Television Documentary - 901 To Innamincka

1983 . . . SA

In 1983, a one-hour television documentary, 901 To Innamincka, was made about Davson, her art and travels. This was filmed during a return visit to South Australia and Innamincka.

The documentary included footage of Davson creating several hauntingly poignant drawings including a Self Portrait in South Australia.

Art and English Teacher

1976 - 1980 . . . QLD

Davson was a full-time High School teacher. She also taught evening classes in art for Adult Education facilities and art philosophy at the Queensland College of Art.

Davson fulfilled a childhood dream of purchasing a small acreage in the Brisbane region’s Lockyer Valley. From here, she commuted to teaching institutions, created art works, cared for horses and a variety of other animals, and was active in the local and broader communities assisting with arts-based activities.

She resigned from her teaching appointments in late 1980 and sold her property. She used most of the proceeds to fund her enterprising artistic “apprenticeship on Australia” as she began her travels and new life as a freelance artist.

Diploma of Teaching

1975 . . . QLD

Davson spent one year at the Kelvin Grove College of Advance Education, gaining a Diploma of Teaching.

1972 - 1975 . . . extra-curricular activities QLD

She became a member of the Royal Historical Society and thoroughly enjoyed modelling genuine historical gowns from the 1800’s at pageants and festivals.

Sharon loved horses. But her father had advised that, “You can afford to own a horse only when you have the land on which to keep it. “ So Davson worked part-time as a waitress to support her education and save up for a deposit on a small acreage property.

Queensland College of Art - Student Union Founder / President

1972 - 1974 . . . .QLD

In 1972, Davson won a 4-year Queensland Department of Education scholarship and subsequently studied Fine Art full-time for three years at the Queensland College of Art, Brisbane.

She became President of the new College of Art Student Union (CASU) after identifying a need for student support and founding the union during her first year at college. She was President for two years, advocating for improved student conditions.

During her second year at college, she found suitable premises for her first art gallery - the TAG Gallery in Toowong, Brisbane. As manager of the gallery, she encouraged professionalism among other young artists and arranged group student exhibitions.

As a college student, Davson supported a variety of causes including the protection of heritage buildings. This was a time when many of Brisbane’s old buildings were being demolished - usually in the early hours of morning. She also lobbied for rainforest protection in the face of wood chip and logging operations in Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

Her advocacy voice continues to persist through her art and lifestyle.


Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award

1968 - 1972 . . . QLD

HRH the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip presented Davson with her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award in 1972.

The Queensland State Branch of the Duke Of Edinburgh Award Society gifted one of Davson’s drawings to HRH Prince Philip. HRH Prince Philip (via a member of his entourage) also purchased one of her paintings through an associated art exhibition.

Gatton Mercury Theatre and Mercury Children’s & Youth Theatre, Australia Theatre Week & Arts Festival and
the Win Davson Art Gallery & Museum

from the 1950’s . . . QLD

Her activities with Gatton Mercury Theatre & Mercury Children’s & Youth Theatre and Australia Theatre Week & Arts Festival laid the foundations for her life of artistic and cultural endeavours.

Davson was literally born into community service within the arts. Her mother, Win Davson MBE FTCL, founded the Gatton Mercury Theatre & Mercury Children’s & Youth Theatre (1951) and Australia Theatre Week & Arts Festival (1959).

Davson’s first stage role was at the age of three. She became an accomplished young actor, performing in many theatrical productions and some television roles. Aged thirteen, she also participated in a concert tour of New Zealand.

Through her mother’s encouragement, Sharon was firstly involved with the Gatton Mercury Theatre & Mercury Children's & Youth Theatre, then Australia Theatre Week & Arts Festival. Her mother’s cultural organisations expanded to include the Win Davson Art Gallery & Museum.

Davson continues to be a volunteer and advisor for these not-for-profit theatre and arts organisations.

She had plenty of practice in creating theatre props, set painting, ushering, serving refreshments, selling raffle tickets and fundraising. She assisted with organizing dances, carnivals, festivals and art exhibitions as well!

With a natural love of the arts, she frequently submitted examples of her work to youth art exhibitions and won various awards. She also participated in Church groups, Brownies and the Lockyer District High School Debating Team.

She has held a variety of Executive Committee positions, starting with Gatton Mercury Theatre & Mercury Children’s & Youth Theatre, Including the Win Davson Art Gallery & Museum; and with Australia Theatre Week & Arts Festival. Currently, she is the Honorary President of all the above.

Davson has continually assisted in many activities relating to these organisations over the past 40 years.

Many of these activities are documented in the Win Davson Art Gallery & Museum collection through hundreds of articles, mostly from Gatton, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Brisbane and Bribie Island newspapers.

Davson World