What is your work about?
I reimagine the world around me and turn it into something tangible. My sojourns during childhood have significantly informed my artistic practice as a still life artist. Every still life has a different style and references a different time, they are always a little quirky too.
When and how did you first fall in love with art?
I was maybe four or five years old. I was invited to do a photoshoot for the front cover of the Sunday Age newspaper for an article on education. I wore an orange smock dress (my absolute favourite colour). I was told I could do anything I wanted; my hands and dress were covered in paint and I was in love. During this time there was a lot of family trauma and domestic violence happening, but when I went skipping down to the local newsagency and saw myself immersed in paint and colour, I’d found my sanctuary.
Did you study fine arts or are you self-taught?
A bit of both. I took private lessons in oil painting when I was younger, and I received a scholarship to a school that had a great arts program. With the help of this I began to experiment with different mediums and develop my style. I’ve always made art, but I sort of lost the luxury when I went to a public high school that wasn’t well funded. I studied hard so I could get into The University of Melbourne where I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Arts.
When does inspiration strike?
I go through my sketchbooks – I’ve always had a deep appreciation for things made by other creatives. Stained glass windows, vintage vases and retro objects always caught my curiosity. I also love reading books on contemporary artists and looking at 70s interior magazines for form and colour inspiration. This may sound a little odd, but I always get a rush of inspiration the moment I finish a series or commission. Looking back on what I’ve created has a way of pulling in fresh ideas and old memories and it starts the fire on the next work.
What materials do you use and why?
I use heavy bodied primer of my own recipe to give my paintings an ideal texture. This helps add a little layer of life to the artwork before I begin painting. Acrylics and oils each have their place, the oils bring vivid colour and life to my bright fruits and delicate natives. Acrylics set the tone and give me access to a kaleidoscope of colour to develop my perfect palette. I use a new colour palette for each painting, so I use acrylics to my advantage.
What have you been working on recently?
A series of still lifes for Forman Art & Framing and The Moree Gallery which I’m represented by. These series have lots of poppies, rustic vases and elusive female figures in them. My work often responds to the seasons and reference the beauty of fading autumn.