My arts practice has, for many years, focused on examining the notion of the ‘sublime’ as it relates to my experiences of the landscapes of Regional NSW. I have lived and worked in the Blue Mountains, the Snowy Mountains, the Mid-North Coast and the Northern Rivers of NSW, where I currently reside. I have also found inspiration in the vast desert landscapes of Broken Hill.
Prior to moving to the Northern Rivers 10 years ago, my artwork was principally inspired by the ‘sublime’ in the natural environment and rural landscapes held little interest or power. However, since living in Northern Rivers, what was initially rejected as subject matter for my artwork become familiar, inspiring, surprising, intriguing and contrary to previous thought, powerful and often ‘sublime’.
My arts practice has subsequently focussed on a re-examination of the nineteenth century Romantic aesthetic notion which divides the world into categories: the ‘sublime’, the ‘picturesque’ and the ‘pastoral’. For the Romantics, the ‘sublime’ was wild, vast, powerful, inspiring awe and terror, but was differentiated from a pastoral landscape. How I view the landscape of the Northern Rivers is a very personal experience and this experience led me to question these notions and conclude that ‘sublime’ moments can be experienced in any environment.
I started my Visual Art career in Sydney where I completed a Bachelor of Visual Art in 1986 from City Art Institute, and a Master of Art in 1998 from COFA. Since then I have lived and worked in the Blue Mountains and the North Coast of NSW, exhibiting in many group and solo exhibitions at commercial and Regional Galleries, including this year at the Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre. I have been a finalist in the Country Energy Art Prize, the Outback Art Prize, was Artist in Residence at Lewers’ Bequest and Regional Art Gallery and exhibited at the Australian Perspecta in Sydney. Since graduating, my work has focused on examining the notion of the ‘sublime’ as it relates to my experiences of the landscapes of Regional NSW. In my recent work, prominent road signs coupled with ‘two –thirds’ dramatic ‘sublime’ skies hint at the sometimes, uncomfortable marriage of the natural environment with a rural environment typical of the Northern Rivers – reiterating existing tensions related to land use versus land preservation. I have been teaching Painting and Drawing in NSW TAFE’s for 20 years and have been Head Teacher of Creative Industries at North Coast TAFE for 13 years.