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mixed works

I wanted to be an artist as long as I can remember, but was forbidden to go to art school, and went to university instead  - one of the only 2% of women in the Fifties who could.  This was where I learned to both think and learn - graduating with majors in Anthropology, English and Education. I married had children, taught in schools and university, but became an artist nevertheless......backwards, so to speak.

Mixed Works

In retrospect I had a wonderful training, because I could go to short classes in what I needed to learn at the time, and in a way, learning has been my career as well as running an art practice.

I began as a cartoonist in 1968, moved to textiles in 1970, then embroidery, papermaking, design, quilting, and anything I could get at the time. Started teaching batik and dyeing in 1973; introduced cold water dyes as a means of surface design by reading industrial texts and adapting their techniques to the home artist. I introduced the teaching of shibori which I learned from Yoshiko Wada; lectured at two of Sydney’s art schools until the mid-Eighties, and then went back freelance.

In 1980 I learned sublimation printing and all kinds of silkscreen with dyes. I began writing for the first issue of Textile Fibre Forum magazine in 1982 and still do. For my 50th birthday I gave myself an etching course, did various forms of relief printing and began to realise that I needed to learn how to draw properly, so I went to drawing classes, and have never really stopped.

I worked for the corporate field for many years, doing work for hotels, offices and airport lounges etc, all the time teaching as a freelance and working as a writer for magazines like Oz Arts and Textile Forum.

I have studied painting, basketry, taxidermy, lacemaking, beading, gold leafing, marbling, bookbinding, and dozens of other skills, which I then add to all the others, combining them in new ways. Which of course, is why I work in mixed media, and my work varies so much.

I find that new skills constantly open doors for new ideas, or how to say what I want to express in new ways.