Posted on Leave a comment


A strong first half saw the woman lead for the majority of the game but missed opportunities in the final term resulted in a disappointing finish. Here is how the match unfolded.

A traditional rivalry started off fiery in the first quarter, with the woman claiming the upper drawer minutes into opening the dishwasher. Despite being stalled by an argument about who should have unpacked last night’s load, her meticulously stacked fine bone china, glassware and plastics came through as the first goal of the day. From there it was a see-saw through to the final minutes with her rival on the hunt to move her carefully ordered dessert bowls out of logical position and into the lower drawer. In the second quarter, fired up by the competition, her opponent took the reward in the seventh minute after her repeated stacking proved fruitless. Her reply came in the form of a nicely placed cutting board, knowing full well her opponent would remove it as soon as her back was turned. From there the contest was tightly held. Her opponent had the final say on the siren, suggesting she’d over-stacked the cutlery basket. But early in the next quarter she pushed back and unsettled him by deliberately not rinsing gravy off two dinner plates. Determined to get her second goal of the day, she showed composure and rearranged her component’s mindless placement of Tupperware lids, finishing the quarter with a snide comment about why he’d bothered to buy rinse aid, and firmly holding her position by completely redoing the top drawer in which he had carelessly placed three items, leaving no room for anything else. The fourth term started in the best way possible, with a certainty off the bottom rack as the woman placed knives, point down. But in line with the theme of the match, the opponent hit back with teaspoons, handle up. Relying on an old move to agitate his opponent, he turned off the power before the cycle had ended. From there it was a scoring blur, with both sides trading majors on the board. Attacks in the form of rearranging the entire cutlery basket and complete removal of a Baccarat saucepan ensured the woman progressed the term with an eight-point advantage. But her opponent worked steadily into the game to finish one step ahead due to a surprising display of confidence about where exactly to pour the rinse aid, and finally racked up twelve minutes on economy cycle.

By Jo Broom.

Posted on Leave a comment


Following an intense five days of homeschooling, a woman was intending to have a Saturday morning lie in and cup of tea when, without warning, her children entered the bedroom at 7am, full of zest and questions about astronauts.Completely thrown by this seemingly hostage situation, the woman had no choice but to NOT even consider what happens when astronauts fart in their space suits. “I don’t give a sodding fek about astronauts!” said the woman, trying not to say fuck. “Not on a Saturday morning!” she told reporters. Shocked by her own outburst and in an attempt to avoid further inane questions, the woman retreated under the doona. The children didn’t seem to pick up on her hostile mood and therefore continued to show a general child-like enthusiasm for life, which seemed to further provoke the woman. “I’ve spent five days homeschooling them” said the woman “and now it’s the weekend and they expect me to play with them.” The woman told reporters she thought she had negotiated terms on Friday night. “I tucked them into bed and said, “See you on Monday.” The children’s actions suggested they hadn’t fully accepted the terms and hence the woman found herself hostage in her own bedroom without a cup of tea. The woman’s partner, who hadn’t participated in any of the week’s homeschooling, meal preparation, bedtime routines or frontline duties, showed an annoying level of patience and enthusiasm and even seemed energised by conversations about astronaut farts.Reporters asked the woman what advice she would give other parents. “This has to stop! My worst fears were realised on that fateful morning. If we are to avoid being terrorised like this, parents must unite, and we must have our cup of tea and lie in on a Friday night.”

(by Jo Broom)

Posted on Leave a comment


Following several weeks of stage four lockdown and homeschooling a woman has realised she can’t be arsed.

“In 2019 I used to plan and prepare meals” said the lethargic woman “but these days it gets to 7pm and I think to myself, “Oh, there’s nothing for dinner, I’d better order pizza.” The woman who up until this point had been diligently homeschooling her children, said “Now I just read over their assigned tasks for the day and then go and have a good lie down.” The listless woman also told reporters “I’ve been thinking I could declutter the house and start learning French. But on second thoughts, “nah.” Reports said the woman had initially spoken of plans for the day but they seemed to have gone out the window. “This afternoon I thought I might clean the toilets and empty the dishwasher but it didn’t sound very appealing, so I decided not to.” The apathetic woman told reporters, in the early days when lockdown was still a bit of a giggle, she and the kids did a daily power walk, but in more recent weeks the kids said they didn’t feel like it so she said “Ok.” When asked what she intends to do about this problem, the languid woman replied, “I tried being motivated and enthusiastic last week but found it a bit tiring.” Reporters told the woman she should probably try to come up with a solution if she can be arsed.

(Reporter – Jo Broom)

Posted on Leave a comment


A woman was admitted to the intensive care unit yesterday after what can only be described as a gruelling ten minutes of homeschooling. Apparently the woman had gone into it with guns blazing, all full of ideas and hopeful for a day of positive productivity but within minutes it had turned into a total shit storm. “My son said he didn’t feel like doing anything and my daughter kept asking me questions” said the distraught mother of two. Doctors say the woman tried bribing the children with choc chip muffins and a jump on the trampoline but that just didn’t cut it. “I put them in separate rooms to minimise distraction but as soon as I attended to one, the other child would call me. It was all very distressing and I had to keep putting my wine down.” said the woman. The woman is now in a stable condition and doctors say, given time, they are hopeful she will make a full recovery. The children have been taken into custody and police agree they are quite annoying.

(Reporter: Jo Broom) 

Posted on Leave a comment

she and the creative thing #5

Adriana Frescura – Creative Director at Frske

“I have a strong social conscience—hence the need for the label to be ethical and sustainable, to source locally and use a Melbourne manufacturer. I also believe in myself—most of the time—although small business has a way of boosting your self-confidence one moment, then stripping it away the next.”

How do you describe your work?

I launched a small women’s clothing brand late last year, which I now run in conjunction with occasional contracting work. It’s an ethical, sustainable label. I manufacture in Melbourne and source from Australian and New Zealand suppliers. My aesthetic, which I call ‘modern modest’, is influenced by Japanese minimalism and French casual chic.

Who/What inspires your work?

My inspiration was born initially of personal frustration. I had a problem finding three quarter-length sleeve tops, t-shirts, and dresses with hems that also covered the top of my knee. Wanting well-constructed natural fibre garments for breathability and longevity further complicated the search. There wasn’t one label that ticked all the boxes. I had to shop in a variety of places, and it was taking me ages.

Now the label is up and running, my inspiration is broader. I want to run a successful, sustainable business so I don’t have to continue doing contract work. Customer feedback provides additional impetus; I can’t tell you how rewarding it is when someone you’ve never met expresses in their own words the aspirations you’ve put into a design!

I’m also inspired by a group of like-minded women I met through a fashion startup course. We catch up or call each other regularly and assist each other to succeed in the industry. We collate and share our resources, experiences and supply chains. I love these women! We all want to succeed and help each other succeed, and there’s no sense of rivalry or competition. These people are amazing.

What is most important to you, in your work?

Firstly, that Frske is known as a slow fashion label, with small production runs, premium quality eco-friendly fabrics and local ethical manufacturing. Integrity, authenticity and transparency matter greatly. Secondly, that the label’s ‘modern modest’ sensibility is understood. There was no category descriptor for what I was creating, so I’ve had to invent my own. Next, I want to evolve to a point where I can give back to the community consistently. The label is already zero waste—I keep some fabric remnants for free repair kits and give the rest to a local textile arts collective—but I have other social impact aspirations. The same is true for circularity. Watch this space!

What elements of your personality make you good at what you do?

I have a strong social conscience—hence the need for the label to be ethical and sustainable, to source locally and use a Melbourne manufacturer. I also believe in myself—most of the time—although small business has a way of boosting your self-confidence one moment, then stripping it away the next.

What is the most difficult thing about working in this creative field?

Cashflow, lack of control over timelines, supply chain reliability, long lead times, the cost of local production, finding manufacturers who are prepared to produce small runs, and finding ethically sourced fabrics and trims. Add to that coming up with ideas, sampling, tweaking and re-sampling until the design is right, and right on brand.

To be honest it’s harder than I imagined, and every day presents new challenges.

Do you experience self-doubt in your work? What happens?

Every. Single. Day.

Research is my go-to remedy; the more I do, the better I feel. I also receive support through my networking group of fashion startups and the online small business groups I’ve joined. Talking with others in the industry, asking questions, or reading about someone else going through the same feelings reassures me that I’m not the only one, and this really does help.

My self-doubt peaked when launching my first collection. I was so self-conscious, it was excruciating! But I went ahead and just did it anyway. It’s paying off. My product has been well received.

The bottom line: it’s a roller-coaster ride… but I have no intention of getting off.

What are you particularly proud of?

Starting a business! Getting through a particularly challenging first production run. Launching the brand. Selling at my first market and, in particular, selling to a complete stranger for the first time. Customers loving not only the product, but also the intention behind its design. Last but not least—and this may sound odd—I’m proud of advising some customers not to buy a Frske garment that doesn’t suit them, even though they want it, because I know it will end up sitting in their wardrobe unworn.

How are your family and friendships connected to your work?

I call on family and friends all the time for help and support. My partner, especially.

My network group is always there, too. Never more than a call or email away, these fabulous, talented women have assisted with photo shoots, picked up supplies for me, shared in large fabric purchases, carried my product to and from markets, the list goes on.

What are your joys and heartaches?

Heartaches: Sourcing fabrics locally, finding suitable and reliable manufacturers, changes to patterns and re-sampling, the constant demands on finances and times.

Joys: The network group of like-minded women I would never have met if I hadn’t started this business. Selling product, road trips to major design markets around Australia with my partner, and the tremendous camaraderie we experience with other stallholders at these events.

Who or what are your supports?

Online support groups, such as  ‘Like minded bitches drinking wine’ and creative online networks.

The small group of like-minded women with startup clothing labels that meets on a monthly, or as needed basis. We’re a constant support for each other. There really are networks of women out there in the world, supporting and encouraging each other and I find that heartening.

My partner, sisters and mum are also positive supporters, sounding boards and extra pairs of hands when needed.

Do you have a personal mantra?

Get plenty of sleep, eat healthy and exercise, make time for my partner, family and friends and of course ‘Edie’ our 5yo Westie.

How do you know when a piece/design/project is finished?

I don’t think you ever really finish a design; you’re always looking at how you can improve it, re-interpret or re-express it, learn from it, all while gauging what the customer likes and regards as appropriate pricing for the brand.

How do you juggle work, life, people and creative inspiration?

It’s challenging; to juggle everything is really hard and some things have to give. I don’t go out as much so that I can get valued sleep, and have sufficient energy to run around on my weekends, focus on the business and catch up with family.

Frske Linen Pinafore, Navy with Frske Crew Neck TShirt, Navy+White
Frske Linen Raglan Top, Silver
Frske Linen Kimono Sleeve Shift Dress, Navy/White
Frske Linen Shirt Dress, Navy

Find out more about Frske clothing. Visit or Instagram or Facebook.

Posted on Leave a comment

she and the creative thing #4

Alice Tarbuck – Poet, Academic, Writer and Literature Professional (photo by Jamie Drew)

“…in terms of helpful mantras, probably just the idea that I might one day create something as beautiful and resonant as a summer morning or stained glass, or something that people like. ”

How do you describe your work?

I’m a poet and non-fiction writer. As a poet, I tend to write what might be called experimental poetry, which tries to attend to language as a medium as well as a message-carrier. My work looks at the seams where oddities converge – strange happenings, moments of realisation, the tiny grains of life and language that rub.

Who/What inspires your work?

Lots of diverse things inspire my work – the legacies of queer women, the sea, the natural world, modes of speech which interest me – I have recently completed a series of poems about classical means of augury, or fortune telling. My ears are always open, I think!

What is most important to you, in your work?

The communication of experience in the form most appropriate to it, I think.

What elements of your personality make you good at what you do?

Oh heavens! Who knows! I enjoy playing language games, I enjoy looking, I feel always oddly apart, and I suppose I’m an optimist, which helps with submitting to journals!

Do you experience self-doubt in your work? What happens?

Constantly! Poetry is a curious, odd, lonely little space. Self-doubt is constant, and the stakes are often very low, anyway. But I am lucky to have lots of lovely poetry friends, with whom to have existential crises.

What are you particularly proud of?

Winning a 2019 New Writer’s Award from the Scottish Book Trust in Edinburgh.

How are your family and friendships connected to your work?

Intimately, I suppose, by virtue of creating the experiences and life that I have – although none of my family are poets – my father is a lighting designer, and so has a very sharp aesthetic sense which I love getting to witness.

What are your joys and heartaches?

Our planet causes most of both – its magic and it’s awful, man-made demise. Love in its complexities, the future, which is so vast and strange. Leaving cups of tea to go cold, my inability to get to sleep at a reasonable hour.

Do you have a personal mantra?

‘Oh, for heaven’s sake, Alice’, gets muttered a lot. I suppose in terms of helpful mantras, probably just the idea that I might one day create something as beautiful and resonant as a summer morning or stained glass, or something that people like.

How do you know when a project is finished?

Once it is in print! Before then, anything remains possible.

How do you juggle work, life, people and creative inspiration?

Clumsily, but with great hope.

Alice Tarbuck is a 2019 Scottish Book Trust New Writers Awardee for poetry, and is currently completing her first non-fiction work, on landscape and the occult. Her first poetry pamphlet, Grid, was published by Sad Press in 2018.  She has appeared at StAnza, Belfast Literary Festival, Literary Dundee, and the Scottish PEN International Women’s Day Symposium, amongst others.  Her work has been published by 404 Ink, 3ofCups Press, PN Review, Antiphon, Zarf and many others.

As an editor, Alice has worked for HarperCollins, and edited books and copy published by Palgrave, IB Tauris, OModernt and others. She specialises in manuscript assessments and edit fiction, non-fiction and poetry.  As a workshop leader, she’s run creative writing workshops for organisations including Open Book, The University of Dundee, Glasgow Women’s Library and Write Like a Grrl.

Alice is also a literary chair, and has chaired events for The University of Edinburgh, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Golden Hare Books, Lighthouse Books and others.

Learn more about Alice’s work and read her poetry at or follow her on Twitter.

Posted on Leave a comment

she and the creative thing #3

Jane Barry – Printmaker and Painter

“Make a start and for me, the work usually begins to flow, take shape and offer up its own direction.” 

How do you describe your work?

Original works on paper.  Monoprint/drypoint engravings via perspex plates and mixed media.  Abstracted.  Intended atmospheric and moody.  Loose (free, in its mark making and depiction).  Hopefully evocative, of a time or place for the viewer. 

What inspires your work?

The landscape.  A certain time of day or night and its colour palette.  The sea, the hills, mountain ranges, bodies of water. Storms, rain, sunlight, thunder, lightning.  Shapes and pattern.  Other times I’m inspired by textures and forms of a more figurative nature. 

What is most important to you in your work?

Mark making -the variety and difference in weight of mark making.  Use of colour.  Successful composition – anchoring the image to its support so it’s pleasing to look at as a whole.  Feeling inspired, enthusiastic and connected to the work. 

What is the most difficult thing about working in a creative field?

Generating a viable income.  The dedication, confidence and motivation to the promotion of my work, and of myself as an artist.  The struggle with self-doubt, in my ability or talent. 
Keeping up with costs (especially associated with exhibiting).  Being a printmaker, my works on paper are framed (for longevity and enhancement) under glass, especially in an exhibition setting. This, plus associated exhibition costs are expensive.  I find myself drawn more recently to painting on canvas or hardboard, and its raw readiness to be hung without constraint or cost of glass. 

Do you experience self-doubt in your work? What happens?

Absolutely.  If it has been a long time between shows or a commission, or indeed the production of a new body of work, self-doubt can set in.  A loss of confidence in my medium, my talent, or authenticity as an artist.  I respond well to a deadline that comes with exhibition or commission.  The work is begun, fueled by inspiration, produced satisfactorily and finished.  But if there is nothing of note to work toward on the near horizon, I sometimes experience a period of being ‘stuck’ or avoiding my work and workshop. 
If I have no new work, I have nothing with which to approach a gallery, and therefore no show to secure. A catch 22.  So, in this, I recognise the importance of producing new work.  Which in turn, builds on my confidence and commitment as an artist and feelings of ‘legitimacy’ as an artist. 

Do you have a personal mantra?

Not really.  ‘Make a start and keep going’ is probably what mine would be.  Make a start, even when I feel uninspired, or I don’t have a theme, or I’m distracted by other aspects of life.  Make a start. And for me, the work usually begins to flow, take shape and offer up its own direction. 

How do you know when a piece is finished?

I just do.  It’s instinctive.  I think it’s important to step away.  Each night, if you’re working on something, step away.  Come back the next day with fresh eyes.  Sometimes it actually was finished.  And sometimes fresh eyes give you what it is that a particular work’s completion needs.  Even if it’s only a final stab or stroke, of graphite, ink or paint across the surface as its finishing touch. 

How do you juggle work life, people and creative inspiration?

It isn’t always easy.  I compartmentalize.  Try to manage my time and take advantage of the allocated windows of time and opportunity.  I have two sons I’m raising with my husband.  I work when they are at school, on my days in my workshop at home.  I also own and run a small women’s vintage clothing shop in the city, where I’m open three days a week (another love affair).  I’ve always supplemented my work as an artist with something else, as it is too sporadic financially to rely on in itself, plus I have a family to consider.  This other venture helps bring in a regular income, to better fund my practice as an artist. 

A few examples of Jane’s work:

Ghost‘ (Monoprint on paper) 450 mm x 650mm
‘Walk the line’ (Monoprint/mixed media, on paper) 760mm x 970mm
‘The last splinters of light ‘ (Monoprint/mixed media, on paper) 1mtr x 780mm

After studying at Christchurch Polytechnic from 1995 – 1997, Jane graduated with a double major in Printmaking. She works from home where her workshop and printing press are. She has exhibited in solo and group shows for 18 years. 7 of those years were at The Centre of Contemporary Art in Christchurch (CoCA) quite literally up until the February earthquake in 2011. Jane’s work is held in private collections throughout New Zealand, Australia, America and Great Britain. A public collection to which she contributed, takes the form of a limited edition book of prints and is held by The Christchurch City Art Gallery.
Artwork/commissions (and enquiries regarding) can be viewed/sought on Jane’s Art Facebook page:- or on her Instagram page.

Posted on 2 Comments

she and the creative thing #2

Libby Hart is the author of three collections of poetry: Fresh News from the Arctic, This Floating World and Wild.

Her first book, Fresh News from the Arctic, won the Anne Elder Award and was shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore Prize. Her second collection, This Floating World, was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and The Age Book of the Year Awards, and longlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. Her most recent book, Wild, was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards and named one of the Books of the Year for the Australian Book Review, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Libby has published widely in Australia and overseas, and her work has been adapted for stage (This Floating World), composed as an opera score (Wild), and broadcast on ABC Radio National.

She is a recipient of several residencies and fellowships, including an Australia Council for the Arts international residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig (Ireland), DJ O’Hearn Memorial Fellowship, Readings Glenfern Fellowship and Writing at Rosebank Fellowship. Additionally, Libby has held residencies at The Cill Rialaig Project (Ireland), Varuna—The Writers’ House, and Palace Cinema Como to coincide with the inaugural Poetry in Film Festival.

Do small things with great love.”

How do you describe your work?

I’m a poet who writes criticism and non-fiction from time to time. My poetry has a tendency to cross diverse cultural worlds and physical locations. I often incorporate emotional landscapes into these settings in order to convey the human condition. My work is also strongly linked to nature as a theme. Mostly, my preoccupations gravitate toward place, memory, history, culture and mythology.

Who/What inspires your work?

I think curiosity is the driving force of my inspiration. Under this umbrella I tend to find a lot of material that I get very passionate about—these topics are often quite eclectic in scope. Also, I will generally gather up a wide range of research material that ultimately ends up dictating what I write about.

What is most important to you, in your work?

Being authentic to who I am and what I have to say. Authenticity is key.

What elements of your personality make you good at what you do?

I need a certain amount of alone time to feel grounded and authentic, so that helps if you write poetry for the page. I also love words, as well as attention to detail, layers of meaning, and patterns and linkages. I guess the latter roughly translates to connection and how life is all about connection. Also, I’m a voracious reader and researcher, but I think that is more of a by-product of being curious about the world.

Do you experience self-doubt in your work? What happens?

Every. Single. Day. Varying degrees of it, anyway.

What happens? I can overthink things. Make something too complicated. But I think my biggest feelings of self-doubt surface when I bring a new book into the world. I feel incredibly vulnerable for the first twelve months or so of a book’s release. For me, the vulnerability has grown with each collection.

What are you particularly proud of?

For not giving up on poetry.

I experienced a somewhat “off again/on again” relationship with poetry from 2015 until last year. In many ways I lost my faith. Everything that poetry used to be for me—a place of sanctuary and/or a place of healing—was turned on its head.

This occurred for reasons both personal and professional. This period in my life was difficult on many levels. Ordinarily poetry would have been a place of refuge at such a time, but in many ways I just couldn’t stomach it. I needed a certain amount of distance from it to just “be”.

I think Derrick Austin said it best when he wrote: ‘We live in a culture that values and encourages the production of a product, that thrives on publication and exposure. We’re all susceptible to being pulled into that way of being. However, it goes against, what I think, are the natural silences that happen to artists. Sometimes, we don’t have anything to say. Sometimes, our priorities have shifted. Sometimes, we must pause and reflect on what we want our work to achieve and contribute. All of these are fine. There are so many ways to motivate ourselves to write. Though living with that hard silence might be the most important way to keep writing and remind ourselves that the words always return.’

How are your family and friendships connected to your work?

They are intricately connected to my work, but this largely goes on behind the scenes. I rarely dedicate a poem to someone I love unless it relates firmly to the reason why I was compelled to write about them.

For example, in my last collection, Wild, I included a poem about my uncle who took his own life in 2008. He had tried at least once before two decades earlier and as a result suffered a brain injury that altered his personality.

I lost my favourite uncle when I was a teenager because the man that would come in and out of my life after that first (known) attempt was someone I often hardly recognised.

I wrote the poem, ‘Elegy’, to try to work through that 20-year gap between both attempts. I also wanted to honour and thank him for all the contraband literature he lent me as a kid. My uncle was my best teacher. He introduced me to poetry (Charles Bukowski was the first poet I read from my uncle’s book collection) and I have everything to thank him for that.

What are your joys and heartaches?

It’s always a great joy to see a book come together. I get such a thrill when I’m almost at the finishing line, but I think Louise Erdrich summed it up so perfectly when she said: ‘The writing itself is the reward’.

My most profound creative heartache is that there’s no money in poetry. Or very little, anyway. You can’t make a living out of this line of work unless you enter academia and that space is something I have never felt comfortable inhabiting.

Who or what are your supports?

It varies with each project, but my friends and family provide ongoing support. I’m also incredibly grateful for any financial and in-kind support I receive from arts funding bodies and residential opportunities. I’ve always felt that this kind of support is not just a helping hand to develop or complete a collection, but rather it provides validation for the vision I have for a project.

Do you have a personal mantra?

Do small things with great love.

How do you know when a project is finished?

Intuition and experience. These are my closest allies as I work.

How do you juggle work, life, people and creative inspiration?

I don’t think anyone can juggle all of these commitments successfully. It’s an unrealistic expectation to think you can. Life is ebb and flow, and it all depends on what’s happening at any given time. I think if you can surrender to that notion then you can exercise self-care.

If you are kind (or kinder) to yourself you can conserve valuable energy and brain space. There’s far too much energy wasted on kicking yourself and/or being frustrated. It’s more important to manage your expectations and to try your very best to rebel against the cult of busyness and the cult of success.

Nobody gets to define you or your success, you have to figure that out for yourself. If you are trying to meet other people’s expectations then you’ll never achieve your own expectations, and you will ultimately hurt yourself.

The pressure to get published, the pressure to be shortlisted and win awards, and the pressure to be an entertaining performer at a reading is all superficial in the long run. All that matters is the work and that it is authentic. You need to be guided by your own values to ensure you have that authentic creative space for your practice.


Libby is based in Narrm (Melbourne), and acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the larger Kulin Nation as the sovereign owners of the land on which she lives and works. She pays her deepest respect to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Elders past, present and emerging for their knowledge, wisdom and legacies. Libby extends this esteem to the cultures, insight and continued histories of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nations.

Read a sample of Libby Hart’s poetry here.

Posted on 2 Comments

she and the creative thing # 1

Andrea Hopgood – Artist, Teacher, Owner at Paperworks Gallery.

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” —Nelson Henderson.

How do you describe your work?

Most of my artwork is a result of observing the natural world around me and exploring concepts that have affected me personally. My 2017 ‘Cloud’ exhibition explored the concept of weather/clouds and the parallels with a clouded state of mind. I take many photographs and use these as my reference. I also consider concepts that resonate with me. Although many of my pieces may appear to be simply a study of a nest, or a depiction of a road, there is always a deeper meaning to these images. Roads symbolize a path forward, a notion that there’s always something ahead. Nests symbolize the home and my value of nurturing and will always have 3 eggs, one for each of my children.

Who/What inspires your work?

It’s difficult to pinpoint a particular artist that I would say is my favourite. Throughout Art History there have been many artists that have created work that has broken new ground and have therefore demanded attention. I am inspired by the exploration of light through the Impressionists work. The immediacy and application of paint through the Abstract Expressionists inspires me to try to keep my work fresh and spontaneous. The use of colour in the Fauves work piques my interest and the technical drawing ability of Durer or Escher inspires me to hone my drawing skills. Sculptural work by Henry Moore informs the use of the natural form throughout my 2d and 3d work.

What is most important to you, in your work?

The act of creating is the most important thing for me. If too many days elapse without me being able to paint or draw or make something, I get a bit antsy. I need to create. I have an unending list of things I want to do and perhaps an even greater amount of unfinished projects waiting for me to get back to them.

What elements of your personality make you good at what you do?

I am a patient person. I have reasonable communication skills and have empathy and compassion for people. I have the ability to plan and execute my plans fairly smoothly.

What is the most difficult thing about being an artist/creative professional?

The most difficult part of being a creative professional, is having too many jobs to do.  Creating is the easiest part, although you have to make sure you carve out enough time in your day to actually do it.  Working from home means you always have multiple tasks on the go at once.  Marketing and Social media can eat too much of your day. I try not to focus on either of these too much, I concentrate on posting occasionally and scrolling less.  Probably spreading myself too thinly is an issue, however I like to try to think outside the box and have a number of diverse projects to keep me artistically active.  I try to keep up to date with any accounting and paperwork, to allow myself to get that out of the way.

Does self-doubt play a part in your artistic life at all?

I’m never 100% happy with my work, I’m a harsh self-critic, however this I believe inspires me to continue creating and learning.

How/When did you know you were an artist?

I started art classes when I was eight. A local teacher agreed to take me on even though she usually only taught adults. I’ve had a passion for drawing ever since I was a small child, I remember being devastated when I broke my wrist and was unable to draw for a few weeks. I also remember going to the football at Waverley Park with my Dad, I would always take a pencil and paper, so I could draw the people around me.

What are you particularly proud of?

I feel very connected to the Clouds series of Artworks, that I have been working on over the last few years. I began this exploration after the death of my son. Painting through my grief kept my mind and body busy, but the subject also resonated with me, exploring the parallels of grief and weather and terms used when describing both. Fine, depression, cloudy.

Who or what are your supports?

I have an extremely supportive family. My husband is extremely patient with my ideas, projects and mess. He creates sculptures and structures, his own designs and sometimes mine, he helps with practical and technical expertise. He shares our home with many members of the public and works hard to create a welcoming and beautifully maintained garden and home. My children and their partners help when we have events and exhibitions. Gabby helps with visual merchandising and styling in the studio. Mitch is always keen to help when a major sculpture or installation requires all hands on deck.

Do you have a personal mantra?

I try to live by the quote, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” —Nelson Henderson.

Do you have the work of other artists in your home?

Our home is filled with art and artisan made pieces. We have several pieces by Indigenous artists and pieces that have been purchased on overseas or interstate holidays, artwork created by our children and my brother in law, paintings by my mother and some purchased from opportunity shops. We have weavings, baskets, etchings, brushes, sculptures, carpets, drawings, tools, locks, bells, ceramics and to my husband’s delight…soft furnishings. David and I have always purchased original artwork.  Many pieces have been collected over our 30 years together and some collected before we married.

How do you know when a piece/project is finished?

I usually hang an artwork in my studio when I think it is close to finished, then spend some time “living” with it. When I spot an area that needs attention I rectify it and then lastly sign it. Once an artwork is signed, I call it finished.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to do what you do?

Give it a go. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to help someone begin on their own artistic journey. So many people have complimented me by telling me that they find learning to paint, meditative or relaxing. Many say they have started to “see” so much more, once they begin to paint. Lots of people join me in my studio to immerse themselves in something else, I endeavour to make it a pleasant and inspirational place to spend a couple of hours.

A sample of Andrea’s Cloud series of works.
Paperworks Gallery and its iconic ‘Pencil’ sculptured trees.

Paperworks Gallery and Studio offers original artwork, handmade gift-ware, art classes and workshops.  The Studio garden is filled with quirky sculptures made from recycled items once discarded as scrap, and reincarnated by Andrea’s husband, David.  The Gallery is open by appointment and is located at 26 Inglis Rd. Berwick, Victoria. To stay informed about upcoming events you can follow Paperworks on instagram.

(Happy Anorak greeting cards are also available at the gallery)

Posted on Leave a comment

I’m delighted to share with you, my new blog project, she and the creative thing.

she and the creative thing offers an insight into the hearts and minds of extraordinary creative women, through a series of interviews.  The series will showcase talented women from the creative realm, including visual artists, poets, designers, musicians and more.

I’m so grateful to the amazing creative women who have given their time to she and the creative thing. I have loved hearing about their lives, loves, trials and inspirations, and I know you will too. You can read the first in the series here very soon. To keep updated, please Subscribe to the Happy Anorak Blog.

Wishing you a happy creative day. J x