Artist Statement and Bio
In the past my art aimed to find refreshed provocation in the anatomical familiar often through abstract realism. Emotion was explored through explicitly inclusive imagery prompting the viewer to search for the recognizable. The images varied from simple gestures, taken for granted, through to body movement not generally considered in everyday life.
Through my artistic practise, I have refined my drawing technique. I would start with life model photography. From here, the images would be digitally manipulated to create dramatic, monochromatic and highly contrasting representations. I would then take these images and draw them using Conté à Paris carré crayons onto pastel-gesso primed paper or plywood using my fingers and fine silicon brushes.
The majority of my previous work was a result of intimate partner sexual violence. My last solo exhibition was decimated by my partner and it had a detrimental effect on my ability to create. But now I am free, free to embrace a shift as I incorporate children’s illustration into my portfolio. I will be using similar techniques to explore colour, vibrancy, and feel good emotions. It is integral for me to work through my current artist’s block and re-establish myself as a professional artist once more.
Planned Residency Activities
The main reason for my application for a 6 month residency within the Bib ‘n’ Brace Collective is to complete my children’s storybook, “Tea Parties and Pillows” (TPnP).
In 2015 I won the Access Arts Achievement Award of $10,000 with my proposal of creating a story based on a child who has a mother that suffers from chronic illness. The story aims to portray meaningful activities that can be achieved when a parent or care giver is bed bound.
The idea for this book arose out of my own relationship with my daughter. I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia at the age of 10. It is a chronic disorder that exhibits symptoms of widespread pain, fatigue and neurological dysfunction. In the past it has meant that I have been bed bound for periods of days up to weeks and even months. As a parent I wanted to feel connected with my daughter, so I came up with a list of activities at varying degrees of energy requirement. It is often a fear of newly diagnosed parents that they will not be able to play with their children in the manner that they used to. TPnP, on top of being a story, it is also a guideline on ways that parents or care givers can still have significant interactions with their children and create lasting relationships and memories. Some activities include making safe slime, mindfulness, vocabulary building, meditation, role playing, learning different languages, and botany. So far I have written the script and taken a number of photographs to work from. I have about four works in progress and I am looking to complete around fourteen pieces.
It is my goal to secure a publishing deal for a second storybook for children suffering from chronic illness so that I could extend my residency.
I am also hoping to reinvigorate other dormant creative past times such as sculpture, printing, etching, fiber creation, poetry, performance and most importantly song writing. I think that having a dedicated space to create and engage with other artists will break me out of this creative funk that I have been occupying for the past two years post DV.
Thirdly, I must also admit that I plan on using the space to indulge in my other pastime, my law degree. I have found that art and law complement each other in my need for challenge. So, from time to time for the first three months of the residency, you may find me drawing away and then look back to see me buried deep in a textbook.