I was born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, WA, in 1957. I have two sisters--I'm the middle one--and I was brought up in the New Norcia Mission. I was taken to New Norcia at the age of three, and never saw my parents again. I lived there until I was 13. This experience had a profound impact on me, and I now attempt to reflect this trauma, emotion and deep sense of loss and displacement in my artwork.
At the age of 181 was free to travel, so I applied for jobs in places like Exmouth, a cattle station in the Kimberley, the Nullarbor, Sydney, Darwin and Cairns. At 241 returned to Perth to have my first child before travelling some more before my son started school. I then went to the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University and did a bridging course, but again put my studies on hold to have my second son. Once he had started school, I began to study art at the age of 38. I started with certificates, going through to a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art.
My artwork has been appearing in exhibitions for a decade now, and is in permanent collections at the National Museum of Australia, the Berndt Museum of Anthropology at the University of WA and in collections at the Cities of Fremantle, Cockburn and Bunbury and the Town of Vincent. I have also been commissioned to work on a variety of public art projects around Perth, including a canvas representing the different Aboriginal groups from around the south-west of Western Australia which served as the centrepiece of the 2006 Perth International Arts festival.
I have an interest in natural fibres weaving and sculpting--and love running workshops with both adults and kids who are keen to learn to make baskets or forms. At the moment I am exploring the uses of natural ochres and resins in my paintings.
For the past few years I've been the Aboriginal student support officer with Challenger Institute of Technology. I'm teaching Certificate III and IV art at Challenger to Aboriginal students of varying ages. I do a lot of workshops for councils and schools, and have just curated my first art exhibition in Bunbury, WA, called Recent Works from Noongar Country.
I'm inspired by friends and family who live a good and honest life, and enjoy sharing knowledge. There are so many good, inspirational people out there. I've always liked the idea of treating others how you want to be treated. Life is quite wonderful at the minute. My two sons are now 28 and 21. One son has just had a baby girl and the other a baby boy--double the joy. After a bit more travel around this beautiful country, Australia, I'm hoping to buy a nice comfortable place to live, and enjoy my grandchildren growing up and just loving them.
(Review V54 N3 p30)
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|Title Annotation:||Going on a Treasure Hunt|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2010|
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