I live and work as an artist in the tropical region of Queensland, Australia, inland from the coast. I originally came from South Australia and moved to Queensland from Victoria when I finished the first part of my art studies. A variety of employment has supported and influenced my art over the years. I have worked with the local council in the arts and as a multicultural worker, in community services as a community housing worker, and with the indigenous community. In these jobs, I have a strong interest in social justice issues to work with the community, women, and the environment.
Art at an easy age was a haven for me as I escaped into a world of my own imaginings. I was greatly influenced by my mother who was an oil painter and watercolorist. I went to art school in Adelaide, South Australia to complete an Associate Diploma in Sculpture and then moved to Monash University in Victoria to continue my studies for a Bachelor in Visual Arts before moving to Far North Queensland and completing a Master’s Degree in Creative Arts at James Cook University.
Art is always changing and I try to allow this to happen as I have had the time out to concentrate more fully on my art over the last three years. I try to go with my feelings and instincts and see what emerges rather than trying and control the process. There is a process behind the art but I feel this can be secondary. I love all aspects of creative design elements; line, color, shape, textures, tone, and three-dimensional. I work mainly in acrylic, collage, and mixed media and I am influenced strongly by urban and nature designs, the small designs that we see every day and which we often overlook that I feel connects small patterns to universal ones.
While I love and enjoy all creative forms; music, theatre, and performance, the art that excites me is the abstract art in both sculpture and painting.
A highlight in my art journey was curating two exhibitions with groups of Indian and Chinese artists in collaboration with Australian artists, with exhibitions held here in Australia and in India. While this was a challenging project the experience was very rewarding in the positive outcomes and connections made between artists across continents.
So many artists have inspired me but Mark Rothko and Alberto Giacometti, both for the simplicity of form and colors, have to be my greatest inspiration. Many contemporary artists of today inspire me but it is what is around me in the designs in nature and the world that truly inspires me. The following art was part of my solo exhibition in March 2022 titled TOXIC – A Climate for Change. The exhibition was highlighting the urgent need to make changes to protect the environment. Here in Australia, there have been a series of disasters, bushfires out of control, and flood after the flood – it has been a challenging time for many but there is an amazing beauty in the ferocity of nature which I was seeking to highlight also in this
exhibition. Nature just is…. ‘Swimming in Hot Water’ – Swimming between the flags in water that is hot and the color of tea, is not a relief from the tropical heat unless there is a sea breeze. (This work was highlighting that oceans are heating and the Great Barrier Reef is struggling to survive). ‘Oil & Water’ – Oceans, waterways, and rivers are our lifeblood but oil, waste, and plastics are clogging our waters.
I love to travel, see new places and find out about different cultures or walk in the rainforest or red earth desert areas. Over the last three years, I have examined places closer to home and started a wild garden to find out what can be achieved if we let nature alone for a period of time. This space has continually surprised me with the plants, grasses, butterflies, beetles, and bird life that has reclaimed the space.
As an artist, it can be a struggle of highs and lows but I think the last three years have allowed me a great opportunity for a focussed time to reassess the way I work and what it is that I would like to achieve. This time has also created more opportunities to showcase my work to the world. I believe I have paid more attention to nature and what the earth provides and which we too often take for granted. In the last year, I can feel that I have further shifted in freeing up the art I do. There is a flow and less concern about whether something works or not but a pleasure and enjoyment in the work time and the relaxation and contemplation it brings.
I have been a sculptor and painter on and off for the last 30 years with breaks at times during employment necessary to sustain my art practice.
My pieces range from 20 x 20cm to 122 x 91 cm
I work with a pre-stretched canvas that is later framed, acrylic paint, acrylic inks, and usually Arches or Saunders Waterford 180 -250 gsm archival paper as well as pens, charcoal, pastels, and oil crayons and collage.