Inspired by my love of animals, I use ink, oils and watercolours to create detailed, visual narratives that explore the relationships between animals and their habitats. My style is a combination of colourful, naturalist work with quirky compositions that pair species who don’t coexist or share habitats. I invite viewers to ask why the rules of land, air and sea no longer apply, and wonder why fish happily swim through the antlers of a bongo antelope and butterflies flutter around a moray eel. As a dedicated artist, I’ve spent countless hours studying animals in museums, using the taxidermic displays to understand and convey their forms. However, it wasn’t until I started work with RSPCA that my experience with animal welfare gave me a new perspective. Now, fuelled by this understanding, I combine my formal education in painting, screen and printmaking to plan each composition, purposefully breaking the rules of taxonomic categorisation. In doing so, my work draws attention to the interconnectedness between species and invites viewers to see how they are being forced to adapt in rapidly changing ecosystems, or risk extinction.
These pairings also invite people to engage in the character and personality of the individual animals, challenging them to see them as more than just objects to be studied and classified. Aware that much of Australia’s rich biodiversity is found exclusively on this continent, and that we have one of the highest rates of extinction globally, my next series will inspire people to learn more about our vulnerable native animals and do more to protect them.
My quirky, naturalist portrayals preserve and highlight the beauty and diversity of animals right in our backyards, asking us to imagine if the kookaburra, the koala, or wallaby were lost to us forever.
- 1997 Bachelor of Visual Art with Honours Griffith University, Qld College of Art
- 1993 Studied Printmaking at the Brisbane Institute of Art