I have held a strong desire to draw, sculpt and pursue artistic endeavours since I was a young child, always self motivated to create in many mediums. During my school years my favourite subjects were craft and art, although family pressures encouraged more academic subjects! I was smitten by paper machè, leatherwork and embossing, cane work and basketry, and spent many hours creating clay forms and vessels from the orchard dam nearby.
My tertiary education, training to become a kindergarten teacher, also gave me opportunity to pursue my creative desires. My favourite subject was art, particularly using clay for sculpture and ceramics. Inge King was an inspiration at that time. I was an avid reader of technical and biographical art books and often visited galleries and artist studios. In my career as a kindergarten teacher, my interest in art and creativity was expressed through the children in my groups. There was always a huge supply of clay, paint, paper, collage materials, sand, pebbles, water, along with construction toys, colourful books and dress ups.
From 1971 – 1976, whilst living in North Fitzroy, I occasionally attended night classes in ceramics under the guidance of ceramicist, Angela Ireland, who taught me some basics of hand and wheel thrown ceramics, and a little about glazing. Whilst raising four young children on a hobby farm in Ballarat from the 70’s to the late 80’s, there was little time for myself, but from time to time I puddled about with lumps of clay and coloured pencils, sculpting small figures of my children and drawing a few portraits.
In 1982 I was accepted at Ballarat University to study fine art, but was unable to take up the offer. I opted then to study some art subjects at the school of Mines and Industries, in Ballarat under the guidance of ceramicist, Neville French. With my family commitments, I was only able to study this course for one year part time.
In 1996, hungry in my pursuit of creativity, I enrolled again at the school of Mines Ballarat, SMB, for a course in sculpture under the guidance of sculptor and artist, Betty Collier. Here I learned the basics of welding, large clay sculpture, plaster modelling and life drawing. At a six week bronze casting course offered during the year, I made my first 30cm figure in bronze under the guidance of sculptors Peter Blizzard and Paul Blizzard. This filled me with enthusiasm to pursue figurative sculpture using clay, wax and ultimately bronze.
During the 1990’s my husband and I had begun making video documentaries and formed a group called Afgo Productions. I enjoyed the creativity of filming and editing and also creating the artwork for presentation. Our documentaries were in fact about artists from various genres- painters, actors and musicians. We are no longer involved in video production, but my interest in photography, film and editing is a valuable skill for my sculptural work.
The dynamic sculptures made by Peter Corlett appealed to me, and in 1997 I visited his studio, and was able to watch him sculpt on several occasions. He encouraged and inspired me to continue to pursue my passion for sculpture, and in 2004 I made a half sized female nude figure which was cast into bronze at meridian Foundry, Brunswick, Victoria.
In 2004/5, a trip to Italy with my husband for 12 months was the catalyst for my launch into sculpture. The fabulous art works and sculptures in every city and every corner of Italy have inspired me to continue to create my own pieces.
A new studio space at home allows me to pursue further art and sculptural works, along with annual 3-4 month residencies in Italy, seeking inspiration from a plethora of significant European works.