HER BEAUTY & HER TERROR: PORTRAIT OF AN ARCHETYPAL LAND
My PhD began as a confrontation with the ‘Void’ in the form of ‘drowning’. This motif had been with me for decades in dreams but was brought sharply into focus after the accidental drowning of a boy, and then the suicide drowning of an artist I knew, on the south coast of Western Australia where I live. The PhD paintings, drawings and digital imagery were created in response to the site of that suicide which is known as The Gap - a spectacular coastal landscape that evokes both terror and awe.
Over time it became evident that this place was not only symbolic of death by drowning, but that drowning itself was a particular kind of death with links to the unconscious and the Void. As I continued my research I discovered further links between the void motif in the landscape, the void as a symbol for death and the Void of spiritual philosophy. In reconciling with the Void through image-making, I came to understand it as a ‘model for consciousness’ in which life and death are equally valued.
My first foray into art education was at Claremont School of Art in the 1980s. As a mature student I completed an arts degree at Edith Cowan University, followed by Honours at Curtin University in 2005. In 2013 I completed my PhD (Art/Philosophy) at Curtin University.
I've worked as a casual lecturer for 2 WA universities, in Design and Media at Great Southern Institute of Technology and as a sessional academic for the JETA program in a maximum security prison.
During my 40 year art career I have exhibited regularly, including a solo show in Albany, many group exhibitions and several touring shows with ECU and the 'MIX' group of artists. I’ve also worked in community arts, delivered painting, digital drawing and sculpture workshops and undertaken commissions for the Albany Residency Museum and Albany City Council.
I now work as a graphic designer and casual art lecturer.