After marrying and staying home to raise my daughters, I began my arts degree and practice as a mature aged student with interest in visual art, creative writing, costume and prop design. It came from a love of making things with my hands but with the guidance received at university awakening me to a greater understanding of what art is and learning to make art about the things that mattered to me, it was like a stopper had been removed and it came pouring out of me.
I learned to be thrifty and re-purpose things as a child, we were not that well-off and with six children in our family, visits to op shops and tip shops helped shaped my creativity and my work has developed from this background. l learned a love for the ‘discarded’ and a way of seeing the possibilities in things rather than just what they were. I have developed a great dislike of ‘waste’ especially in these times of excess stuff piling up in affluent countries while others starve.
I love aged, pre-loved items with their story already etched into them, and giving those pieces a new purpose, a new chapter in their story is a great joy to me. I work almost entirely with unwanted, discarded materials, recycling them, hoping to create unique things of beauty or intrigue that see these items and materials becoming wanted and loved once more.
My art work is usually conceptual and speaks of being human in this world, my spiritual journey, the natural world and the ‘interconnectedness’ of all that is. I align with the ideas of Deep Ecology and feel we live the wrong way on the planet and that it is through an understanding of this ‘connectedness’ that the change we need in the world can come about. So, I guess, I try to keep finding unique and new ways of speaking about this through my art. When I finish a body of work and have shown it and settle again looking to what is next, I get an overwhelming, exciting feeling of the expanse of infinite possibility waiting to be brought into being. I want to be a vehicle through which this happens. Making art is essential to me.
I am a stilt walker and a member of our local women’s community circus, Circus WoW, and am also interested in Wearable Art. These two areas allow me to develop my love of costume design. I work in a similar way in this field, re-purposing second hand garments and objects to create costumes. Community is important to me, so I have actually spent 20 years doing voluntary work running community art events, circus gigs and an annual breast cancer fundraiser.
I am a founding member of IAVA, the Illawarra Association of the Visual Arts, supporting and promoting contemporary arts practice. I am also a member of RPAA, Red Point Artists Association at Port Kembla, helping to revitalise a depressed area through art and culture.
Selected Art Awards
- 2000 Joint winner—Sydney Water Sculpture Prize—Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi Beach
- also won People’s Choice Award, Access Gallery Award & Defiance Gallery Award
- Work now held in Wollongong City Gallery permanent collection
- 2004 Winner—Redressed Wearable Art Award—Viva la Gong Festival, Wollongong
- 2004 Winner—People’s Choice Award—Sculpture on the Edge, Viva la Gong Festival
- 2008 Winner—Sculpture Prize—on the shore, Thirroul Beach, Wollongong
- 2009 Winner—Sculpture Prize—The Lake Walk, Lake Illawarra, Wollongong
- 2010 Winner—Kooinda Waters Sculpture by the Greens Art Prize, Wyong
- 2010 Commended—Mosman Sculpture Festival, Mosman
- 2011 Winner—Transfield Recycled Sculpture Award—Sydney Sculpture Society Domain Show
- 2012 Commended—Escape ArtFest Sculpure Prize, Cuppitt’s Winery, Ulladulla.
- 2013 Winner—Thirroul Arts Festival Feature artist Grant—Thirroul Seaside & Arts Festival
- 2017 Winner—Beryl Lewis Older Women’s Scholarship—Illawarra International Women’s Day
- 2017 Winner—Waste to Art Award—Lake Light Sculpture, Jindabyne
- 2013 on and on—The Hanging Space Gallery, Woonona
- 2009 beyond within—Project Contemporary Art Space, Wollongong
- 2002 One—Hazlehurst Regional Gallery
- 2001 Still Celebrating Diversity—Gallery Equinox, Austinmer
- 2017 Drift—Shellharbour City Exhibition Space, Shellharbour
- 2017 Symphony: celebrating diversity in art & culture—Project Contemp Artspace, Wgong
- 2016 Insight: the spiritual in art—Hillside Gallery, Wollongong
- 2016 Sojourn Summer—Beach Art Gallery, Bulli, Wollongong
- 2015 Botanicals—Gunnedah Community Gallery, Gunnedah
- 2014 Waste to Art & Mudgee Art Prize—Mudgee
- 2012 Line of Sight—Inaugural IAVA Group Show, Project Contemporary Art Space
- 2011 The Lampshade Ladies, 17 wearable art garments—Viva la Gong Festival Parade
- 2011 Passage—Project Contemporary Art Space, Wollongong
- 2010 Pattern through Time—Project Contemporary Art Space, Wollongong
- 2009 WoW Wearable Art Awards—Wellington, New Zealand
- 2009 Innerscape—Bondi Pavilion Art Gallery, Sydney
- 2007 Fabric and Fibre Expo—Escape Gallery, Murwillimbah
- 2007 Collected Women—Wollongong City Gallery
- 2006 Spiders and Flies—New Contempories, QVB, Sydney
- 2005 Composition—ICANN group show, Project Contemporary Art Space
- 2003 Seeing Nature—Kiama Fire Station Gallery, Kiama
- 2002 Art in the City—Martin Place, Sydney
- 2001 Sculpture from the Sea—Travelling Exhibition
- 2000 2nd International Student Triennial—Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey
Qualifications and Experience
- 1994 Advanced Certificate: Fashion—Wollongong West TAFE—1st place & recipient of Director’s Award
- 2000 Bachelor of Creative Arts—University of Wollongong (including Welding, Foundry, Photography)
- 2001-2011 Creator and Director of ‘on the shore’ outdoor sculpture exhibition, Thirroul Beach
- 2004-2016 Coordinator of Breast Cancer Fundraiser, The Bubbles Ball, Port Kembla
- 2009-2012 Curator @ Redpoint Gallery and committee, Red Point Artists Association, Port Kembla
- 2009 & 2012 Creator and Director of The Redpoint Wearable Art Showcase, Port Kembla
- 2012-2017 Performance & Outreach Coordinator, Circus Wow, the women’s circus of Wollongong
- 2011 Ass Director, Circus Wow 10 yr anniversary show, Wow, what a story! The Vault, Port Kembla
- 2012 Founding member of Iava (Illawarra Association of Visual Arts)
- 2016 IAVA committee member