I have been involved in the Arts (visual arts, community arts, art education, theatre, music festivals and music) as an artist and a performer for the past 35 years or so. I began formal visual art studies in the NT as a mature age student in my early 30's after two quite disparate careers; firstly in the beauty industry as a salon stylist, secondly in science as a technician in various laboratories. As a child I had drawn prolifically but art as a vocation was not encouraged in the parochial suburban Perth environment in which I languished as a young adult.
Although at Queensland College of Art I trained primarily as a printmaker, I have since worked across several mediums including assemblage, illustration, mixed-media, collage, acrylics, oils, encaustic, cold wax, polymer clay/recycled bead jewellery, soft sculpture/textiles, papier mache and large-scale cane and paper sculptures. I incorporate many of these mediums into my current practice.
My style can range from abstracted to illustrative, but all of my work is bound together in an over-arching theme of what I call magic un-realism. My art often depicts animals, plants, the land and the sky; it is inspired by things of the natural world and primal ancient worlds, rather than the modern built environments and rationalised constructs of 21st century humans.
Whenever I delve into the arcane mysteries of nature, the universe, primitive human mark-making and spirituality, that theme is what I am always taken back to when I paint/make, drawn in both willingly and unwillingly.
Having become older and wiser, I have now realised that it has always defined my work and who I am as an artist.
As both an artist and a viewer of art I often look to the work of artists past and present for inspiration. I like to look at an artwork and feel inexplicably moved and feel a particular kind of indefinable yearning stir inside my heart. I love it when that happens and that is the effect I would aspire to have on viewers of my own work.
Upon initial viewing, my work often appears to be in the realm of illustration, on the surface it can seem to have a literal simplicity without much mystery. However under that surface there are always many layers and an accumulation of thoughts, meanings, ideas, emotions and memories goes into the making of each physical layer. The compelling alchemy of painting/making occurs for me while blending the physical, tangible elements like the paints, materials, mediums, surfaces and textures with the intangible, the ephemeral and the emotional; the taught formal and technical considerations of the process unconsciously meld with my eyes, mind, hand, intuition, memory, heart and soul.
The end result of all this will hopefully be artworks that inspire an emotional, intuitive response in the viewer that bypasses intellect and reason and instead reaches their heart and soul.