I am a woman of Celtic heritage born and raised an Australian. I am a daughter, mother and grandmother. My creative drive and personal strength is drawn from the women past and present in the matrilineal branch of my family. I am an artist, designer and tutor specialising in hand crafted lettering design, Celtic art, drawing, painting and mixed media works on paper, canvas and glassware, as well as printmaking and pyrography.
Growing up Australian in the 70’s meant that identity was all about sporting prowess, of which I could not relate to. I grew up surrounded by creative pursuits, from 18th century paintings in tempera done by my predecessors to the highly skilled fibre work of my grandmother and mother, as well as their charcoal portraits and pencil sketches of old homes. I was encouraged to make and create through exploration of traditional materials and skills that were losing favour in the 70’s and 80’s. My mother opened my eyes to calligraphy and Celtic art with her stories about *The Book of Kells and the facsimile of this manuscript held in the Mitchell Library, where she worked as a young woman in Sydney, and of her later travels to the UK and Ireland.
Through studying calligraphy I discovered the beauty of working with watercolour gouache and pigment inks on rag papers, parchments and **vellum. I favour these though also play with mixed media works, layering acrylic backgrounds with lettering and design overlaid in watercolour gouache and highlights of raised gold leaf. I use acrylics and mixed media on canvas and glass, as well as dabbling in printmaking and pyrography on gourds. My tools of choice are very fine pointed brushes and calligraphy pens with square-cut metal nibs, pointed nibs, ruling pens, hand-cut reed pens and pens made from found objects.
I am celebrating my identity as an Australian woman of Celtic heritage through the use of traditional Celtic design elements intertwined with zoomorphic Australian flora and fauna. Calligraphy is included to convey a direct meaning or add a necessary element of completion to the artwork. My artworks are inspired by my experience of place, of connection to place and my shared responsibility to care for Mother Earth as she takes care of all our needs. The continuous interconnecting pathways in Celtic design are symbolic of our human interconnectedness with nature and our vital need to care for the Earth that sustains us.
*The Book of Kells is an ancient Celtic Christian manuscript, unfinished, of the four gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke & John, produced around the year AD800. Centuries later it was found buried in Kells, Ireland, and thought to have been hand lettered and decorated in the scriptorium at Lindisfarne.
** Manuscripts of the past two millenia were usually hand lettered and decorated on pages made from fine quality animal skins. Parchments were made from goat or sheepskins, while the higher valued vellum was made from calf skins. The most highly prized writing surface, slunk vellum, was made from the skin of a stillborn calf, being very fine grained, soft and translucent.
2016 - Pop-up Exhibition, Re:Publik Cafe, Ettalong, NSW 2014 – Celtic Art & Calligraphy, Gnostic Mana Café, Woy Woy NSW
2011- Interlacing Heritage, Steplight, St Leonards NSW
2008 - The Workshop, Katoomba NSW
2007 - Mementos Café, Blackheath NSW
2005 - Newman-White Gallery, Lithgow NSW
2001- Celtic Art & Calligraphy, The Old Lodge Gallery, Gladstone NSW
Exhibitions in collaboration with 1 or 2 other artists
2017 - Night's Watch Parliament, Bringing birds of the night into the light., The Art House, Wyong NSW 2013 - The Nature of Australia by 2, Zigi’s, Chippendale
2006 - Creativity x 3, Braemar Gallery, Springwood NSW
2002 - Creativity by Three, Netherby House, Kempsey
2014, November – Westfield Pop Up Gallery, Tuggerah NSW
2014, June – Choose Yourself, The Entrance Gallery, The Entrance NSW
1996 to 2014 - Sydney Royal Easter Show, Calligraphy exhibition, Sydney NSW
1998 to 2013 - Australian Society of Calligraphers, biennial exhibitions in Sydney
2004 to 2007 - Newman-White Gallery, Lithgow NSW
2005 to 2007 - Autumn Artfest, Winmalee High School, Winmalee NSW
2006 - From the Rainforest to the Sea, Gold Coast Calligraphy Society
1992 to 2004 - Coffs Calligrapher’s annual exhibition, Coffs Harbour Botanical Gardens, Coffs Harbour NSW
2004 - Stanthorpe Arts Festival, Stanthorpe QLD
2003 - Celtic Art & Calligraphy, Mater Hospital Mercy Hospice, Newcastle NSW
2001 - An Exhibition of Celtic Art & Craft, Celtic Studies Centre, Mosman Art Gallery, Mosman NSW
2000 - An Exhibition of Celtic Art & Craft, Celtic Studies Centre, Seymour Centre University of Sydney, Sydney NSW
2000 - Celtic Calligraphy Competition, The Australian Celtic Festival, Glenn Innes NSW
2000 - Kempsey Shire Art Prize, Kempsey NSW
1998 to 2000 - Calligraphy Southscribes exhibitions, Gymea NSW
1994 to 2000 - Annual Southern Cross Arts & Crafts Festival, Ballina NSW
1992 to 1997 - Woolgoolga Art Group annual Art & Craft Exhibition, Woolgoolga NSW
1998 to current - I have curated & hung solo exhibitions and group exhibitions in collaboration with galleries, fellow artists and community art groups. My curatorial work is professional and efficient to the appreciation of both artists and supporting organisations alike.
1992 to current – I have successfully designed and delivered courses and workshops for Coffs Calligraphers club, the Australian Society of Calligraphers, Adult & Community Colleges throughout NSW, Bellingen Camp Creative, and for my own arts business. Topics covered include: traditional and contemporary calligraphy hands, Illuminated letters and decoration, Celtic art, colour principles, bookbinding, paper making, watercolours, and glass painting.
1992 to 2007 – I have been awarded many prizes in the competitive exhibitions from above, including 1st, 2nd, highly commended and people’s choice.
2016 - Now a featured artist online at Artsy Shark http://bit.ly/1O2wcPl.
1997 to 2014 – Colophon, member magazine of the Australian Society of Calligraphers, regular contributions to articles, and cover artworks.
2008 to 2011 - http://www.thenookleura.com.au/about/, The NOOK Craft Cooperative Leura NSW, listed as exhibiting member.
2010 – WordsWork, Calligraphy and Lettering Art of Australia and New Zealand 2009-2010, pub. Australian Society of Calligraphers, I am one of 72 current day artists showcasing their work.
1997 to 2005 – Kalligraphia, member magazine of Coffs Calligraphers club, regular contributions to articles and cover artworks.
1993 to 2003 – The Coffs Harbour Advocate newspaper, regular articles about exhibitions, courses and workshops I presented.
2000 – Handmade in the Nambucca, a directory of artists, craftspeople, growers and fine cuisine in the Nambucca Valley NSW.
Private collections in Australia, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Scotland & Japan.
2016 to current - Finite Gallery, Caves Beach NSW
2016 - Rose's Gallery Cafe, Newcastle NSW
2014 to current – Timeless Textiles, Newcastle NSW
2013 to 2014 - Class Art Gallery, 139 Elizabeth St Sydney
2008 to 2011 - Aldgate Gallery, Little Hartley NSW
2007 - The Workshop, Katoomba
2004 to 2006 - Newman-White Gallery, Lithgow NSW
1998 to 2002 - The Paperbark Gallery, Evans Head NSW
2002 - Raglan Gallery, Manly NSW
Community Art Group Galleries
1996 to 2004 - Valley Community Arts, Nambucca Heads NSW
2006 to 2011 - The NOOK Craft Cooperative, Leura NSW.
1997 to current - The Australian Society of Calligraphers (ASoC)
2013 to 2017 - Committee member, The Australian Society of Calligraphers
2014 to 2016 – Board member, The Central Coast Collective Inc. (TheCC)
2014 to 2016 – National Association for Visual Artists (NAVA)
2014 to current – Kariong Eco Garden (KEG)
2014 to current – Committee member, Kariong Eco Garden
2015 to current – Habitat for Wildlife
1993 to 2000 – The Coffs Calligraphers Club