I use classical painting techniques to create snapshots and grabs from daily life. I treat most subjects as still life, and work from photographs I’ve taken for reference, existing vintage photos, or images found on the internet. There is no real system to my choice of subjects, though I am always on the lookout for the comic, the ironic and the absurdist. Having worked with one of the largest collections of photography in Australia over the last twenty years as a picture librarian at the State Library of Victoria, I am heavily influenced by photography – especially 20th century documentary photography. Also of influence are 19th century hand-coloured postcards and photographs, where the intervention of the hand-colourist creates a surreal beauty.
I try to bring comic, sentimental or whimsical subject matter, from the world of emotion, into the world of aesthetics by using a highly charged colour palette. The use of colour in my paintings is not meant to jar or create unease; rather to transport – if only momentarily – to a state of contemplation of beauty. I use colour and pattern both as decorative devices - as many non-Western cultures do to express reverence and respect - and also to take the viewer away from the mundane and the expected. Colour decorates, lightens, amuses and animates. Colour imbues meaning and power.
Influences: Notions of alienation and loneliness. Image nausea and product nausea. Edward Hopper, Stewart MacFarlane, Andrew Wyeth, David Hockney, and many contemporary artists – too many to name.
Questions that occupy me: Is all of today's art about art? Why are women complicit in misogyny? Grief is not character building (ok, that’s a statement, not a question). Is neutrality possible? How can I make a difference?