As part of the refurnishing of the Crown St Mall I was one of 4 artists employed by Wollongong Council to develop art works on 12 panels with community groups.
How exciting,today the mural was attached to the side wall of the Wollongong Town Hall by two amazons with a crane. Edith, Sand and I hung around the square and cafe to watch and record the event. Friends dropped by to offer encouragement .Phew! It goes up smoothly and looks great. As an artist, I wish I could make a few changes but I can leave it. I am proud my work and the achievement of completing such a challenging and awesome painting. Thanks to my studio assistants Edith for painting and Sand for helping move panels and photograph the process. Yahoo!
I have been busy painting a mural for a public space in the Wollongong arts precinct for the 2011 viva La Gong celebrations with a theme of Spirit and Place.
The mural is 5 x 5metres a total 25 sq metres…that’s a lot of paint. The image is a peace rose. I haven’t worked this big for a long time and working with a known and familiar image of the rose,( my bus shelters and the bouquet series), made the challenge manageable
When the 8 2.5 x 1.25 panels were delivered I really started to see the massiveness of the project. I started with white undercoat to cover Josh’s mainly black painting. I decided on a peace rose. My studio could only take one panel at a time, horizontal on the table with one standing vertically leaning against the wall. I started with a charcoal drawing which I graphed up and transposed one at a time onto the 8 panels, making the leap from black and white to colour.
Edith helped paint until her asthma and hospitalisation stopped her participation.
When I finally got a dry sunny day and we laid it out in the only space large enough..there was one petal mismatch which was easily fixed. I put a few more layers of darks and lights and got a new appreciation for the aboriginal desert women I had seen sitting on the ground painting. The outdoor challenges included lots of plant matter sticking in the paint, dark staining bird poo (lots) a constantly moving dappled shadow sending me into a trance and always having a distorted view despite standing on my tallest ladder. I had underestimated the physical impact on my ageing body, several times needing heat packsand pain killer untill I learned to limit my hours. All that crouching while moving around..and tryiing not to tread on wet work, bobbing up and down to get paint!
I look forward to seeing it upright. It goes up Friday 27th in the morning and there is an opening walk to see all the new works Thursday 10th November at 6.30 and ending at Pig Alley with an event.
Passion Wand came about via an actual wand designed and made with magical intent. It is made of feathers I collected on walks, around the hills of Canberra. As I made the wand I was calling passion into my life. I did a pen and wash drawing of the wand and included the women. The image brought about the intended outcome but via a different path to the one I was expecting.
The original was bought by Thelma Solomon at the Melbourne Lesbian Art Show in 1994.
I have since made a the digital copy which has been used to promote the Lesbians In the House Concert at the Sydney Opera House 2011.
I have had it printed as cards, T shirts and on fabric which I have sewn into sachets of organic rose petals.
My areas of expertise are Art, Lesbian Health and Discrimination, and Reducing Violence Against Women.
I am self employed specializing in community development, social justice, health promotion, creative projects, training, research and event management.
Examples of specific projects or services
Trainer for Responding to Same Sex Domestic Violence and
Practical Skills In Responding to Domestic Violence for
Education Centre Against Violence (ECAV) NSW Dept Health, 2005-present
Mentor in the community garden
Access Community Group, Corrimal
Lesbian Community Worker Wilma Women’s Health Centre, Campbelltown 2005-2010
Sydney gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade entries
Lesbian Rights Are Human Rights 97,
Lesbian Allsorts 98,
Lesbian Health in Lesbian Hands 06,
Campbelltown Cowgirls 07,
A Woman Needs A man Like A Fish Needs a Bicycle 08,
Out For Our Sisters, Lemon Laws without a Grandfather Clause 2009,
Illawarra Anti Homophobia Project 07 producing and delivering training for local youth workers in responding to homophobia
Wollongong Council have employed me on a number of projects including
Mural painting on bus shelters as an anti graffitti project Take Time To Smell the Roses
Designing and producing 30 flags for use at public events 2010
Training local NGO Management Committees in Constitutional process
Write funding application for Wollongongs 1st Living Library project
Research and report Illawarra Lesbian Needs Assessment, 2000
Recent Talks Conference Speeches and Workshops include
Impacts of the New Relationship Recognition Legislation, Lesbian Soiree, Redfern, 2010
Feminist Arts Practise, Petcha Kucha, Wollongong Art Gallery, 2020
Triple The Ripple LGBTI DV Forum, Sydney, 09
Same Same Twice the shame,Health In Difference, Brisbane, 08
Dyke Decade of CD Feminist Conference, Townsville 08
Lesbian Human Rights, Gather the Women Conference, Sydney, 08
Lesbian Cultural Sensitivity,Cumberland Womens Health Centre, 09
Responding to Abuse In Lesbian relationships,DV Hypothetical , Western Sydney, 05
Lesbian Domestic Violence National Domestic Violence Conference, Bankstown, 05
Lesbian DV & Lesbian Human Rights, Lesbian Health Work,National Lesbian Health Conference, Melbourne 05
Lesbian Discrimination and Mental Health Turning the Tide Mental Health Conference, Wollongong 05
Lesbian Human Rights, International Human Rights Conference Byron Bay 05
Testified and supported 3 other testifiers at the International Women’s Human Rights Court, UNSW 04
Salaried Work with NGO’s
Illawarra Women’s Health Centre- 2001-2005
As Women’s Community Worker I provided one to one support, advice and referral to women, (most of these clients were escaping abusive relationships), support groups for women escaping abuse and for women with addiction issues; art projects for women who have experienced violence lobbying for service improvements and funding.
Two days a week I worked as Lesbian Community Development Worker educating about discrimination and its health impacts, providing support to lesbians and their communities using a Community Development approach to Health Promotion.
ACON Illawarra 2001
Lesbian Community Development Worker. Duties included working in partnership with other agencies to improve access to services for lesbians and raise awareness of the effects of living with discrimination for lesbians. Produced 3 editions of Be Yourself: A Guide to Wollongong for Lesbians and Gays
Wollongong Women’s Information Centre 2000
Resource Worker providing counselling, and support for women.
Pt Kembla Youth Project 1999
Casual Creative Drama Tutor with disabled youth from Parameadows School, Wollongong.
Stepping Out October 1998
Casual Relief Support Worker housing for women who have experienced childhood sexual assault.
Thebe Housing Project 1999
Casual Relief Support Worker
Wollongong Women’s Centre 97- 99 Casual Relief Crisis Telephone Counselor
Older Women’s Network 1996-1997 Project Coordinator, Women In Community Housing
CAPOW! – Coalition of Participating Organizations of Women 1993- 1996
National Coordinator and Office Manager for a network of 67 national women’s organizations, monitoring the implementation of the Platform For Action, preparing the Australian NGO report for the UN Status of Women Committee the 4th World Conference On Women 1995 and other world conferences.
Innana Women’s Refuge January 1994Refuge Worker for a service for psychiatrically distressed women.
Doris Women’s Refuge 1987-1993Crisis Worker for women and children escaping domestic violence.
Toora Single Women’s Shelter 1982 Refuge worker with single women and young women recovering from abuse, addiction or homelessness
Australian Social Welfare Union 1982-93 Industrial Officer representing members in disputes with their employees and in the Industrial Relations Commission, negotiating for improved wages and conditions including the logging of several awards.
Belconnen CYSS 1983-1987 Project officer focused on the needs of unemployed youth and in particular sole supporting parents
Bessie Smyth Foundation 1977-82 Abortion, Health & Contraception Counselor;feminist abortion clinic.
Community Activities (unpaid)
Coalition of Activist Lesbians –Australia (COAL)
1996-2009 Co-Convenor and office administrator. COAL has focused its work on participating in the United Nations especially with reference to CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) and participating with other non government organisations to address lesbian human rights on a national and international level.
Much of my art work is available as prints through redbubble. In my experience dealing with redbubble is easy, reliable and provides many choices to the buyer. The clothing is great quality. I have some tops that have been well worn (18 months old) and they still hold their shape and the colours of both the T shirt and the print remain vibrant. The range is great too, from baby clothes T shirts , where you choose the neckline, colour, sleeve length, they even have a hoodie. The prices are very comparable with shop bought clothes and when you purchase via redbubble you are supporting an independent artist. I receive direct income.