Growing up on Quarry Road with a view of the lake made an imprint on me. It sounds like a privilege, which it was, but not in a class-exclusive kind of way. I remember the house shaking on a sunny day, just before our roof was peppered with rocks from the quarry blast. While the landscape was spectacular, the relationship to heavy industry was very real. Dad worked at the BHP Steelworks before landing a coveted job in underground coal mining. We could see the entrance of the mine from our house and knew the coal seam ran deep under the lake. On the surface it was an idyllic place to be.
I loved growing up around Lake Macquarie. For me, living by the lake generated a sense of wonder and deep connection to the natural environment. The social layers of waterfront wealth, proud working class and social disadvantage, all intermingled to create a dynamic community. If there was any conflict it was usually handled with humour. Social cohesion was most important. Within the community, there was an undercurrent; a tension. This tension, I think, came from a duality caused by heavy industry. Most jobs were in mining, steel, and power generation, and those industries caused significant degradation to the lake that everyone valued so highly.
This sense of duality, occupies my art practice. I see my practice like any meaningful relationship. It is the need to balance strong forces. When there are convictions and needs, there is conflict and reconciliation; all striving towards harmony. Within my works, I look for flux and interplay between various forces, in which, I can explore moments of cultural and visual discord. Sometimes these are my own feelings, and sometimes these are dynamics channeled from the broader world.
To generate this sensation of flux, I combine various art genres and styles. I use painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video and kinetic works across traditional, experimental and contemporary styles. I often use humour to connect disparate ideas. My overall aim is to stimulate a sense of wonder, impart a sense of adventure, and to influence the viewer (including myself) towards a greater sense of complex engagement; where playfulness and experimentation can be a poetic path towards re-evaluating our own biases, beliefs and relationships to the broader world.
Initially trained as a painter, I completed an undergraduate degree in Sculpture and Spatial Practice at RMIT University, and more recently completed a Masters of Fine Art by Research at the Victorian College of the Arts. I was co-founder and long-term board member of an artist-run-initiative, and have worked in various professional roles within the visual arts sector. I was born in 1974, and now live and work between Geelong and Melbourne in Victoria, Australia.