I love stories.
My childhood was divided between falling off ponies and reading books. I grew up with Greek mythology and French tales of chivalry, moving on to Icelandic sagas and German folk tales. My nose was always in a book, but very few were about Tasmania. We were hungry for own stories, and on the rare occasion when a new Tasmanian book was published, somebody in the family would buy it immediately. I became an amateur historian and full-time artist searching for a uniquely Tasmanian mythology and folklore.
In 2011 I undertook an Arts Tasmania Cultural Residency on King Island, in the middle of Bass Strait, and found a rich source of stories, not least my own, for my parents were living at Grassy when I was born.
King Island is famous for dairy produce and wind (somebody told me that when the wind drops all the cows fall over) and it boasts Australia's tallest lighthouse. For more than two hundred years ships have been crashing onto its unyielding rocks, and dairy herds graze on rich pastures originally seeded from straw stuffing the mattresses washed ashore from a wreck. I found an isolated park where the remains of a small country school are shadowed by huge macrocarpas; twisted calcified tree roots form baroque sculptural shapes on windswept dunes; ruined machinery rusts at the abandoned scheelite mine where my father once worked. When it rained, I painted fanciful arrangements of natural treasures collected along the seashore.
These paintings are a humorous and light-hearted response to my time on the island. Like all my work, there is a strong narrative element; they might have some deeper meaning if you want to look for it. My intention is to amuse and entertain. Enjoy.