Tootsie Gallery –Yass, NSW Opening Group Exhibition
Murrumbateman Gallery and Meadery – Exhibition of linocuts and etchings
Resident Artist at Ocean Studios, Royal William Yard, Plymouth
Open Studio, May, Ocean Studios
Open Studio, July, Ocean Studios
Open Studio, Plymouth Art Weekender, September, Ocean Studios
Festive Season Open Studios and Art Market, Ocean Studios
Flameworks Art Market, Barbican
Plymouth University Printmakers Exhibition, May
Theatre Royal Printmakers Exhibition, 20th June – 18th September
Drawn to the Valley, Open Studios, September 2nd – 10th
Inspirations and influences
Animals and imagery
I grew up in the Vale of Pickering, on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors in the UK, surrounded by a menagerie of family and animals. Animals have remained a big part of my life. It seems natural they should appear in my prints - I’ve been drawing them for as long as I can remember.
I spent many years doing both printmaking and ceramics. In either form I always found myself creating stylised images of animals, either as decorative elements on pottery or more directly as etchings. Gradually I realised that the stylised animal imagery was the important thing for me, and found I could better express this with prints rather than ceramics.
Teachers and colleagues
My artistic training began after leaving school, when I moved to London and went to art evening classes at the Working Men’s College in Mornington Crescent. I followed classes in life drawing, ceramics, sculpture, photography and history of art. My teachers there were so talented and inspiring, and they spurred me to continue my artistic journey.
So, after building up my portfolio, I got a place at Edinburgh College of Art and studied printmaking and ceramics for four years. After art college, I continued working with both forms - in the Edinburgh Printmakers Workshop, and in shared ceramics studios in Edinburgh. Working with colleagues was fun and inspiring.
Places I've always loved discovering new places. My first ever holiday abroad was to Papua New Guinea. After graduating from art college, I spent 6 months teaching art in a secondary school in Zimbabwe. Further wanderings have taken me to Australia and France (and back again). All of these places opened my eyes to new images and new ideas.
Sydney was such a contrast to Edinburgh - the light quality, the sparkling blue ocean, the warm climate. I spent 3 exciting years there, learning more about printmaking, encountering new animals, enjoying the city and the beaches.
I'd always been attracted to life in rural France, and the idea of setting up a studio there. So when the opportunity arose, my husband and I bought an old farmhouse near Bordeaux in south-west France. Apart from drawing lots of hens, geese, ducks, cats, birds, lizards and other animals, I didn't do much art there. Most of my time was spent renovating the house and bringing up our two children. French tax laws for professional artisans didn't help either.
And so after 11 years it was back to Australia.
In 2008 I set up my own printmaking studio in Murrumbateman, in rural New South Wales. As the children grow up, I'm managing to devote more time to my art.
I have a large Enjay etching press and have gradually built up a set of good etching tools. I've been experimenting with (for me) new techniques. These include linocut using multiple plates to build up layers of image (see Printmaking), and the use of non-toxic materials (e.g. electroplating with copper sulphate).
It’s a continuous journey. Linocut is a slow process for me, which leaves plenty of time to ponder the endless possibilities at every stage - what to add and what to leave out, or which colour combinations to use. After each print is finished I explore ideas for improving the next one.
Until my studio gets an insulated floor, winters here make it too cold to work in. So during the winter months I spend time drawing and painting.
In early 2016 the chance arose for me to be based in Plymouth in the UK, and have a studio at the Royal William Yard. It is a great opportunity to experience life here, after not having lived in the UK for 21 years, and to explore the Art world here.