Where did you grow up, and what was it like?
I was born in Brisbane, and my family moved every couple of years. Eventually, we settled in Katherine in the Northern Territory, where I lived until I was 26.
My father was a teacher, so I had a variety of regular school and alternative education and home school experiences. Overall, I found it hard to sit still and was often in trouble in High School.
I left pretty early, higher education in Katherine was not the focus for most people. I got married when I was 17 and had my first daughter when I was 18. This was when I started doing my art with some focus and intensity. Starting a habit of painting at night that has not ever really left.
What do you do, and how did you get into this industry?
I am a painter and also more and more working with large scale and installation work. By being so obsessed, I couldn’t do anything else.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
I am travelling a bit to paint and organise projects etc., so I have a big picture routine to deal with. I am in the studio or the kitchen mostly, cooking and preparing for my absence and painting for shows etc. which I can’t do when I am on the road. I have five children, the younger three only left at home and it is a very full life to keep it all going.
What have been some of the biggest challenges in your career?
Lack of finances, my own feelings of parental guilt and the mental load, other people not understanding my big picture, fear of failure, tiredness!
Best creative memory?
I am on a high every time I sell work and know I can make something I want to happen. Proper highs though would be New York Art Fair, painting in Hong Kong and in Beijing. I love that awful yet alive feeling of being out of my comfort zone.
What do you love best about your job?
That it is just me being the best version of me.
What do you get up to when not working?
Parenting, running, looking at art, bushwalking, but my art takes most of my time, and that’s ok. Everything is generally in some way related to the work.
What’s on the horizon for the future?
I have said yes to many things this year, so the next big thing is London, then an exhibition in August opening at 19 Karen Gallery. I am travelling to paint with Schools in Ethiopia! Many things plus more I will no doubt decide to squeeze in!
If you had any creative business advice, what would it be?
Do you bookwork/tax even well before you make money. Be prepared to work harder than you would at any other job. Back yourself. Get out of your comfort zone, do the things that make you want to throw up.
If you could be anyone else for a day, who would it be and why?
I would happily take some of Angelina Jolie's staff. Make clothes and pick Vivienne Westward’s brain and have coffee with Patti Smith!