Animal Artist, working primarily on paper and canvas crossing over a number of mediums from oil and watercolour painting to drawing and printmaking.
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As the youngest child and a competitive 6-year-old, I made it my mission to draw horses better than my sister. That was the beginning of my love of animal art.
I spent my student years fascinated by animals represented as objects in museums. Their taxonomic categorisation and preservation, a timeless allegory of the life they led.
After years of printmaking, painting and drawing classes, I achieved my Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts with honours and was set free on the world to make art free range. I travelled, undertook scholarships and was invincible, I was an artist.
That is when the reality of the artist’s life with no guidelines or safety net set in. With bills to pay and no real idea of what I was doing. I fell into depression and stopped making art altogether.
I was lost, but my love of animals remained. That same sister that I had to beat at drawing horses picked me up and took me to work with her to volunteer at RSPCA Queensland, offering me an opportunity to work in animal welfare. I wasn’t making art but I was making a difference to animals. I was offered a paid role and there I stayed amongst these amazing lifesavers doing all they can to help those animals I hold so dear to my heart.
Over the last 20 years whilst working at RSPCA I have picked up my brushes and pencils and continued to make art. I have learned about the plight of animals and I now know that I can’t be a quiet observer any more. I have to tell their story in the best way I know, through my art.
Our planet is at a critical point; the extinction rate is ever increasing and the impact of humanity is taking its toll on the animal kingdom. Animals are being forced to adapt or disappear on this ever crowded planet, this impossible choice is leading to strange alliances being formed in order to survive. These symbiotic relationships have seen animals like coyotes and badgers who are both solitary hunters pairing up to increase the chance of a meal.
My work explores the notion of adaptation and mutual partnerships with a somewhat tongue in cheek perspective of animal co-existence and habitat sharing. The rules of land, air and sea no longer apply with fish happily swimming in the antlers of a bongo antelope and butterflies fluttering around a moray eel. It refers to the finite situation the planet is in, with extinction events happening faster today than ever before and Australia, unfortunately, leading the way with more extinct animals since colonisation than any other country.