I was born in Dunedin, New Zealand and have also lived in Australia, UK and India. My family have always been creative, my grandfather being one of New Zealand’s first talkie movie makers, my father a photographer and my mother always loved making things. This environment suited my adventurous artistic spirit. I started making my own clothes before I was a teenager and had great fun creating the boldest combinations of colour and design I could imagine until I decided to pursue my growing passion for arts and started by studying textile design followed by fine arts in Australia.
After meeting my Indian husband, I moved from Australia to Cambridge, UK where he encouraged me to develop my paintings and textiles. I initially created large textile pieces with lots of painting, stitching and layering of fabrics and then moved onto painting, influenced at that stage from all my travels to India. Elephants featured widely in a lot of the works and continue to do so today, not only because of what they represent in Indian culture but also because they are so close to humans in their behaviour and family structure. I painted lots of Indian scenes and portraits and had numerous exhibitions in Cambridge and London, one of my most memorable was being the first artist to exhibit at JP Morgan the merchant bankers as part of their Shining Star campaign to raise funds for the children’s charity CHASE.
We decided to make the move back to New Zealand just before the Millennium and I continued to travel and exhibit in the UK until 2006. In 2003 I was asked to create some new art programmes for the Aoraki Polytechnic and worked as a Co-ordinator and tutor until 2011 when I could not resist the urge to create my own work again.
The Ashburton Art Gallery offered me an opportunity to exhibit my abstract work in 2013 and that followed with an exciting trip to Italy to show at the Chianciano Biennale in September. My work was evolving all the time, my love of abstraction still developing, while continuing to draw and paint animals and birds and starting to write short stories with the animals as the subjects.
I had always supported elephant conservation through the sale of cards and paintings and in October 2014, through my husband’s friend the Ambassador to the United Nations for Sri Lanka, I was invited to stage an exhibition of elephants to raise funds for the SLWCS (Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society). An amazing experience and adventure!
Over the last couple of years, I have looked to New Zealand as my inspiration for my abstract work and enjoyed the challenge of creating works that are a little more recognisable although still very contemporary.
My current exhibition at the Ashburton Art Gallery “Forever Young” has given me the opportunity to showcase drawings, paintings, collages, prints and textiles where my aim from the outset was to try and capture those moments of simple enjoyment that children experience and adults can still relate to. The wonder and excitement of discovering something new or something we had forgotten! From delicate drawings to contemporary paintings using some of my favourite animals and birds including elephants, deer and rabbits. Bringing a sense of humour, tenderness and beauty into my work that all ages can enjoy.