I grew up in Perth. I lived in Melbourne for about 5 years in my early twenties where I went to shake up my post-school malaise and follow music dreams. Then I realized that Perth has the things that I actually like –beautiful weather, big sky, amazing coastline, my family (although following one of my brothers there was a main draw).
Upon returning I took up drawing/painting and studied Fine Arts at Curtin University. I started out doing lots of life drawing and my work had an expressive figurative style- bold, immediate, a bit tormented, with a focus on heads and faces. Now it is different – I got rid of the subject or container, and kept the contents. The contents are less tormented, more subtle and leading.
I’ve exhibited nationally in solo and group exhibitions and prizes including The Hutchins Art Prize (Tas), Whyalla Art Prize (SA), The Agendo Art Prize (VIC) and The Mandorla Art Award (WA). I had 2 solo shows last year ‘Act One Scene One’ at Gallerysmith Project Space (VIC) and ‘Ledge Point’ at Moana Project Space (WA).
What inspires you/where do you look for inspiration?
I guess I try to tap what is inescapably affecting me due to time, location, life stage, specific happenings etc and work to express that or make it more visible to myself – my work comes out of my personal life. I mean actually it’s not so much about trying, than submitting, to those things. Mostly I’m a fairly quiet type, I like looking and listening, so I tend to be absorbing things from the outside into internal domain and then eject it back out in my work.
What projects are you working on?
I’m working on a couple of commission paintings for FORM, which will go in the new Crown Towers Hotel – one of them in a penthouse and one near the ballroom. It’s a huge undertaking- I think there are something like 1200 original works being made by Australian artists, many of whom are West Australian (don’t hold me to those figures). I think there are plans to make a catalogue or book, which will document all the artists and works. I have a solo exhibition coming up called ‘Pool’ which opens on Friday June 10 at Turner Gallery in Perth. This is what I’ve been working towards for the last few months.
What is special about this project?
I have limited myself to a very specific colour palette in these paintings and it is also the first show of works on canvas and linen (previously I’ve worked on paper and paper mounted on board). There will be 2 large-scale paintings that are the biggest I’ve ever made. Although it is usually the case, particularly in this show the paintings will feed off each other, or bounce off each other in the gallery space.
They’ve been made at a time that’s new, anticipatory and lucky for me. Pool refers to a place of depth and mystery, stillness, a pooling of resources, a pool can be looked into and reflect, an accumulation, a reservoir, a mirror, it contains and can be submerged in.
Fave hometown spot?
The beach. It’s sparkling through my window right now.
What should we expect to see from you in the future?
Pool will be on from June 10 until July 9 so there’s a bit of time to get there if you can’t make opening night. Although, opening night is strongly recommended as Margaret Moore (program manager of visual arts at PIAF and former chair of PICA) has kindly agreed to give an opening talk in response to my work (talk at 5:30pm, drinks 6-8pm). Susanna Castleden will also be opening her solo show in the main gallery so there will be lots of art and hopefully a bit of a crowd.