I paint, work in clay, construct, draw, take photos, and make artist books. I practice my art everyday in many ways and places – in the studio, in the community, through writing and publication of papers, teaching, through community and public art projects and professional development training. I have exhibited widely.
I received my PhD (Victoria University, Melbourne) for research into the effects of arts practice on recovery after trauma, loss and grief (sexual abuse). This is a field that continues to be immensely important to me. I received a Master of Fine Arts (Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne) for research into the artist’s response into the impacts of the First World War. I have built much of my creative life upon the artist’s role in expressing and responding to the most profound human experiences.
My research into trauma, grief and loss has led to acclaimed installation exhibitions that speak to those feelings which are so hard to describe in words. I continue to work closely with victims of sexual abuse and family violence, and those experiencing life-threatening illness and their family and friends who share feelings of loss and grief.
I established ART for Soothing & Strengthening in 2018. This is a program – and statement – to acknowledge that art making offers these things – especially at those critical times in life when they are most needed. I provide on-going private art groups for people affected by sexual assault, domestic violence and other trauma (many people who are affected by trauma also experience mental illness); groups for people in grief; for caring professionals. I offer professional development training, and Imagination training for better residential aged care.
I am a registered NDIS provider, a Professional Affiliate of the Australian Psychological Society, a member of the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement, and have done Child Safe Training.
I co-founded Artists in Community International with performing artist Alex Pinder. From 2004 until 2018 we ran many projects with communities throughout India, Nepal and Thailand, and individually within Australia; we taught Social Work Students and teachers, worked in schools, and with extremely underprivileged communities. We worked within the focus of education and health, using the arts as the most wonderful, and an effective, route to improving the lives of many. You may be interested in looking at our separate website. www.artistsincommunity.me
I have published a number of articles and contributed to journals and books on the subject of arts practice in recovery from trauma, and community development, as well as presenting my work through conferences in Australia and abroad. Thank you for your interest in my work.