Francesca Rosa


11 Mar –
30 Apr 2023

Francesca Rosa is a photo-media artist who lives and works in Etty Bay, Queensland. Her exhibition Nostalgia, presents a series of new works that explore the lives and personal histories of migrant families, including her own, in the Innisfail region of Queensland. Their stories are traced through family portraits, diaries, archivally sourced images, manipulated and annotated landscapes, and inter-generational oral and video recordings. The resulting works by Rosa resonate with personal stories and compelling authenticity.

Nostalgia explores notions of displacement, isolation and depression – experiences shared by many Italian women living away from home in post-World War II, Far North Queensland.

For Rosa, experiencing the aging of her mother in a foreign land is an emotional journey, articulated through her work with the accuracy of a loving daughter. Grief, loneliness and regret remain real and raw memories for her mother, articulated in brief recorded conversations, 

After World War II, I migrated to Australia on my own. I didn’t belong.
I married a cane cutter and lived in a cane barrack. I missed my home.
I had my first child and I gave up work.
My sister died young. She had a wonderful laugh….
My partner died from cancer last year. I regret not learning to drive.
Many of my friends no longer visit.
They are gone.


More to Explore


Artist Showcase Program

An online resource for artists, curators, collectors, and the public that provides information about contemporary artists from the region, many of whom are represented in the Gallery's Permanent Collection. 

This initiative extends the Gallery’s support of the outstanding arts practice of artists from our region.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Read more

Artist Fellowship Program

Supporting regional artists with grants of $7,500 to develop a new body of work for a future exhibition.

To date, Fellowships have been awarded to Francesca Rosa, Maharlina Gorospe-Lockie, Janet Fieldhouse, Simone Arnol, Jason Wegger, Naomi Hobson, Heather Koowootha, Joel Sam, Daniel Wallwork, Monique Burkead, Tommy Pau and Sonya Creek.

The Artist Fellowship Award is proudly supported by the Cairns RSL Club.




This exhibition has been supported through a Cairns RSL Club Artist Fellowship Award
IMAGE: Francesca ROSA, An Italian Woman (detail)  2022, giclee print on canvas, polyester lace, 127.0 x 101.0 cm. Courtesy of the artist

Installation Images


The Cairns Art Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, names or voices of deceased persons in photographs, film or text.