A Wayfarer on the Nepean features drawing and animation works that were inspired by my Summer Studio Residency at the Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest. The Nepean River and its Great River Walk was my inspiration during my Penrith stay.
I had a great time there. Every day I walked or rode along the track from the caravan park to the Penrith Regional Gallery. I explored the river banks and studied various aspects of the river along its track. I felt the heat and relished the shade of the trees, saw the weeds, recorded the birdlife and swatted the flies. I observed houses encroaching on the vegetation needed to stabilize the banks. I felt the violence and sadness of litter arrogantly left behind. I savoured my time here. I witnessed the community’s affection and engagement with the river and her banks for picnics, weddings, swimming, skiing, rowing and exercising along this great walking track. I thought about how the Nepean River is so much a part of this city and its identity and yet contradictorily estranged, neglected and controlled by it, as are so many of our rivers.
My experience of the Nepean River was one of contradiction and love. The great river has been tamed and broken, she no longer threatens the city with flooding. The Great River Walk names her history, gives the community a beautiful track to indulge in all manner of outdoor activities.
The artworks that I have produced puzzle over ideas on identity and transformation through paradox. The more we domesticate the landscape the more we search to find connection to the ‘wild’ in ourselves and in nature. The plucky heroine is once again situated within rich, lush NSW river-scapes. Her challenges involve contradictory relationships and human frailties, and her quest is to find her voice, knowledge and connection to the Australian environment.
I make images of sassy women in new and mixed media. In 2016, a solo at Grafton Regional Gallery. In 2014, I was awarded the Windmill Trust Scholarship Encouragement Award.