About Me… As a small child, I spent a few years in Arnhem Land and lots of time in central Australia. Part of this journey was of a non-indigenous girl in a traditional culture. This is where I witnessed and embodied some understanding of being part of country, belonging and the importance of arts and crafts in everyday life. I was the outsider, the observer, as a small child I had no idea what impact that would have on my adult life. My mother was always making, weaving and crafting and I could sew before I could read. This was to be how I would find my way…
As an adult, I competed in the corporate arena, working in Fashion and Retail Buying, giving all that I had to get the bigger job, more money, a bigger buyer-ship, more power. People laughed at my jokes and listened. And then I’d given too much and I burnt out. One of the key signs was my menstrual cycle, I would bleed uncontrollably for days. When you’re travelling a lot, that’s not easy to hide. The iron in my blood was depleted. My soul was depleted. I had no more to give and I also began to cry, a lot. The day I resigned and left that corporate world, the corporation packed my desk into a box and walked me out of reception.
I was done, I had nothing left to give and I was empty, so empty. Then I began to make again slowly tentatively trying to find a voice, like learning to walk. First to crawl, I also undertook two years of intensive Chinese medicine and Yoga. My cycle revived itself and I was able to finally conceive. The making/art took a backstage to babies. Now the babies are becoming teenagers and the creative world has become my way of living. I’ve found a way forward that fills me, gives me hope and courage and supports and holds me.
My Work… I work with the cycles of Mother Earth, looking within at my own body, learning to honour the menstrual cycle and outwardly looking at the moon cycle and how to plan my projects and interactions so that everyone can benefit. Plants have become my main teacher. I work literally with one plant at a time. I look and listen to see how it can share its story with me and others. That might look like painted images using natural dyes and inks on textiles and paper, or it might be the fibre, or a collaboration with another person to appropriately share the historic or cultural stories. Now that means I both make and curate exhibitions and find ways to share the stories with audiences and communities.
This work now moves into the sphere of Women’s Mysteries, looking at my own ancestry and the pre-Christian belief system of Anima Mundi the earths soul, a perspective that is more feminine centred and allows for a flow with the cycles of earth and body. Women sitting together the age old way of building trust, side by side witnessing each others lives unfold, knowing and supporting, busy hands and quiet minds.
Me as a Mother… Constantly being in a frustrated state of juggling my creative work, my own needs and the family demands, fragments my creative output. I have a burning desire to create and share this work, and these bodies of work are punctuated by the rhythm of my family life. Intense periods of work during school terms, put down and forgotten during holiday times. Then to be picked up with fresh hands, new eyes and renewed energy.
As an Artist… After 20 years in Sydney’s Urban environment, street art and stencilling have a big influence. You can see this echoed in the simplified images in some of my narrative work. Sometimes I call my work slow art, or chance art because of the ‘unknown, uncontrollable’ nature of the way in which it unfolds. I start with a preconceived idea, only to find that the materials I desire have been blown away in the last storm, or the season changed quicker than expected. I am forced to stop and re-evaluate and am reminded to deeply listen to place, plants and the people that are connected by all of this.