I began formal training at the National Art School (Sydney) in 1958. Then aged 14 I was so young, but my intent after leaving high school was definitely to have a career in art.
My mother was a fashion artist and I grew up watching her illustrate women’s apparel hanging all around the dining room because she used the dining table as her work bench. It all had to be cleared away to set the table for dinner (not once did we find a stray nib in the salad). I watched her use pen and ink, wash and other media and sometimes accompanied her to Farmers or David Jones in the city where she would take her finished illustrations. She encouraged me to draw and it was a given that I would go to art school because I showed little interest in ‘normal’ studies. As a child I was good at drawing and had won many prizes by entering the Sunday Herald’s Children’s drawing competition.
As an artist, I’ve always been interested in painting ordinary things, recording the clutter and things we take for granted in our humdrum lives, especially women’s. I see visual art as a means of communication and in everyday objects I’ve found a surprising answer to the question “is your cup half full or half empty?” The extraordinary can come from the ordinary, such as sunlight illuminating a few clothes on a washing line: little beacons in suburbia. I think my main real direction has always been looking for the light, almost as an unconscious drive. Hence light and shadow are common in my images (humour too being a carrier of light). ‘Praps in a psychological sense light can only exist because of the presence of darkness, and vice versa? Not sure what a cosmologist would say about that regarding black holes.