I was a dormant creative for decades, having given the ‘usual’ creative hobbies a go from a young age and then done nothing much for years. My mother is a prolific creater having knitted and sewed 100s of garments and quilts in her lifetime (and she’s still going) but generally from a pattern. The birthday party face biscuits we made as kids always had to have Smartie eyes, Jelly Bean mouths and half Jelly Bean hook noses. ‘Creativity within boundaries’ you could call it. Perfectionist by nature, I suppose I tended to not just ‘have a go’ in case something went ‘wrong’. Perfectionism can be debilitating. Then I had kids and slowly, slowly, the freedom to create without boundaries grew. Creating with boxes and bottle-top lids is inexpensive. In fact, working with what was otherwise going to be rubbish, I found totally liberating. If you didn’t pay for it, making a ‘mistake’ wasn’t the end of the world, or at least, wasn’t expensive. So, for a number of years now, I’ve been making egg carton crocodiles, box robots and other crazy shapes with my kids, hoping that they can learn that anything and everything is possible and okay when you’re creating.
What I do
I make assemblage sculptures, combining household objects, with a particular interest in kitchen objects, to create owls. In recent times I’ve begun to break the owl monopoly (I’ve now made over 400 owls!) and have added a couple of elephants and a cat (clock) to my repertoire. You can expect to see more and more of these over time. Apart from the unique feel they lend to each piece, using the discarded and obsolete gives me the satisfaction of helping to extend the life of items no longer needed for their original purpose rather than creating something from newly made raw materials — our planet only has so much it can give up.
One day I’d love to be creating large, outdoor assemblages following in the footsteps of Jean Tinguely, Swiss painter and sculptor. I particularly love his moving water sculptures. http://www.youtube.com/watch?
I love all things round. I love repurposing items and, in most cases, try to use items I salvage ‘whole’ in my pieces. I somehow prefer that — possibly as it’s more of a challenge or perhaps because the options are then more limited (as a Libran too many choices can lead to non action.) And metal. Metal has great properties, particularly when exposed to the elements, but also in interior situations. Those outside continue to evolve and surprise: who knew that shiny tray would rust so irregularly, or that dull silver would hold it’s finish so well? The ability for a little water to do so much damage to something so solid over time is somehow magical. Water seems so gentle, harmless.
How I make
For the most part I select the various body parts for my works from an array of features spread out around me. These have been collected from trash & treasure markets, garage sales, op shops, and even the side of the road. One day I hope to have a studio in which to spread out properly, but for now I often work in my living room with metal pieces fanned out in front of me like the debris of some highly organised bomb. This also allows me to enjoy the company of my husband of an evening. It’s then a matter of choosing a body, balancing eye parts of diminishing size in place, then a beak, marking holes in the eyes and drilling if necessary, marking again on the body, more drilling, deciding on ‘eyebrows’ if the piece ‘needs’ more and then packaging it all up in a ‘kit’ to take with me anywhere when I need to wait. I can often be seen in various places around our suburb (at kids’ swimming lessons, doctor’s surgery) assembling the pieces using wire and pliers. There’s nothing like the curiosity of people with nothing else to do but wait! I find it’s great exposure and I love talking little kids through what I’m doing. They are generally fascinated and like to ‘help’!
Where you can find my products?
I offer the pieces for sale through my Facebook fan page (‘Contact us’ tab under the profile picture once you’ve chosen an item in my For SALE photo albums) as well as at various stockists online and in Victoria and interstate. I’m working on expanding my stockists which are currently mainly in the northern suburbs of Melbourne (if you can recommend a potential stockist down your way, please let me know!) You can find a list of Focus on Art stockists on my blog: http://attwentyfour.blogspot.
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Want more information? If you don’t find it on my blog (http://attwentyfour.blogspot.