These paintings are made by constructing pieces of plywood into a shape to support plastic dolls, plastic and wooden objects and built up impasto medium, then this becomes the painting surface. Part painting and part sculpture, they seem like the Ukrainian and Eastern Polish icons of my father’s country. I use this language in a hybrid way, part ancient, part modern, to show stories about life which unfold themselves in the act of painting. I am also indebted to the ancient folk tales of Russia and Poland and am always thinking about their wisdom, and greatly prefer it to the prohibitive institutions of the church.
I have been asked why I use Barbie and Action Man and Ken to tell these stories... and before that I was cutting images out of Vogue magazine, and using those images in the same way. I use them because they are powerful archetypes, and because Barbie especially, and that type of mass produced doll are archetypes that lie, and I want to make her and the others tell the truth. Another part of these works are the painted miniatures that are juxtaposed with the dolls. I am influenced by Persian and Indian miniature painting. Miniatures are a way of transmitting news and preserving history. They tell stories in a very simple way, without irony. I use their language to help reinforce the truth of the stuck on plastic doll tableaux.
Born in England 1954
1967 Emigrated to Australia
1968-1973 Attended Nepean High School, Emu Plains NSW.
1974-1976 - Sculpture at the National Art School Darlinghurst Sydney NSW
1976 group exhibition with Mike Parr at the Sculpture Gallery, The Rocks Sydney NSW
1986-present, professional performer of Egyptian Belly Dance
2002 solo exhibition “The Hem of the Skirt of Helen of Troy” TAP Gallery Surrey Hills Sydney NSW
2003-present teacher and performer of Egyptian Belly Dance, Sydney and South Coast NSW
2008 solo exhibition at Mogo Raw Art and Blues, Mogo NSW
2009 finalist Basil Sellers Art Prize, Moruya
2010 solo exhibition “A Journey Through Madness and Out the Other Side” ANCA Gallery, Canberra
2010 Finalist Basil Sellers Art Prize Moruya
2010 solo exhibition “FOOD CLOTHING SHELTER LOVE” Australian Defence Force Academy
Library, Canberra ACT
2011-12 Study Masters in Fine Art Painting at the School of Art ANU Canberra
2012 Highly Commended finalist Bega Valley Art Prize