I went to the heart of Australia for the first time aged 58; I was stunned by its beauty and majesty. By serendipitous coincidence two weeks later I heard a program recorded on the ABC about a woman called Olive Pink. As an artist you have to be a smidgen interested.
Getting to know Olive Pink through the traces she left behind has led me to re-examine my idea of art. That is that art is the medium to teach us how to live, what to love and what to be afraid of. Mark Rothko once stated that he hoped his art would have: that of allowing the viewer a moment of communion around an echo of the suffering of our species. To me Olive Pink is art itself and if not that then a truly transcendent human being.
Over the past years Olive has taught me courage, compassion, commitment and above all how to explore paint.
Courtesy of the artist 2012
Indigenous/Non-Indigenous Seed series
Olive Pink lived in a time when she could recognise a truth in simple thoughts. She recognised the important relationship Australian aboriginal people had with the land, and this truth would never disappear. One step forward and she also recognised the importance of the plants supported by that land.
My focus on seeds is a way of paying homage not only to Olive and her forethought of establishing an indigenous garden but to all women who are born with the secrets of the new generations. Success or not, the seeds of Olive's ideas, lives on and one of those ideas is that Australian aboriginal people “can walk their own line”.
Courtesy of the artist 2016