09. current situation

‘Out there’, do you mean in terms of putting your art out there in exhibits?


I send it all around the world. I get it to biennales, but it's away from me. I do have exhibitions and won prizes but I do have difficulty promoting myself. Some of it is philosophical to a certain extent. I didn't want to be too commercial and it limits one’s freedom and I'm much better than I think I am actually. I think I’m quite good but I always feel it’s never good enough. I'm fortunate that I do have a profession and I can't stop working. My subject matter is war and the unacceptability of violence. My field of study during this bullying period was feminist and I was looking at female religious history experience. I visited the British Museum and the Louvre and looking at the early female goddess symbolism of which there is quite a bit around and doing work based on that from a contemporary point of view. When I was under trauma I had to go to a trauma specialist and she said why don't you use your experience now as part of your artistic expression, so I've gone from being excessively female oriented to being male because the images I look at are male. If one thinks about war, perpetrators are men, so my work is about perpetrators. I'm not doing something which is obviously concerned with battle, my theme is the unacceptability of violence and the need for compassion and hope and that is a phrase which is an umbrella for investigations. I will see where it takes me and maybe I will look at the perpetrators or maybe I'll look at soldiers or sorrow and maybe dealing with hate.


I now have a need to be out where I should be instead of being that side of me which is a little bit private. I am quite active. There are disadvantages living here. I do like the cinema that's my favourite of all the theatrical things. I do like the cinematic experience and it means that I can't go as often as I'd like especially as I don’t earn money. I don't have very much and my profession eats it up. I do like theatre and I like music so I listen to the radio. I would like to go to a gym but it's too far. I've had a yearn to do clog dancing and a thing called Whirling Willie. I could do more of that if I lived in Canberra and now that I'm getting over the trauma I'm becoming more outward going. Sometimes if you have a major crises one has to rebuild ones resources up again. I had a depression problem but they are reactive depressions. One has to cope with them and I do, so the disadvantage about living in the country is that it’s a long way to anywhere. I'm 30 miles from a doctor and an hour to go to the pictures and I can't afford to do other things and I like the television. I like the detective genre and drama.


I'm practical around the house and I do gardening. I knew when I came to the country there would be more to do than I could possibly cope with and that's one of the reasons I came here I wanted more to do than I've time for. I don't want to not have anything to do. I like to do things by myself but people in the country are very friendly and one’s neighbours are good. One can ask a neighbour, but I don't ask anybody for help unless I really cannot do it and I think the more I do, the stronger my body stays. I'm healthy and a happy person so I imagine things will go on the same.


I've had a fortunate life I'm very lucky to have had encouraging parents I like my son. I'm very glad I had a child and he's a really nice person. I like my profession I liked being an art teacher. My disability has been a lack of confidence and I think that's a woman thing. It hasn't prevented me, but I could have done more. I liked being at the art school I liked being around the ANU campus. I liked my colleagues, they were all different nationalities, I really liked that. I liked it before this present government. I'm a socialist and believe in socialist principles.


I'm not inclined to do education for the sake of education. I've been in education long enough and I can research myself quite well and I'm still a member of the ANU library. I've got a big library of my own. My mother died recently and now that everything has calmed down it takes a little while. I've got plenty of things practical to do. I'm intellectually occupied. I've little groups that I belong to. I go to the health centre once a week. Every public holiday I'm on driver reviver duty and I do the theatre group when they do a play. I come into town once a fortnight. I'd like it to be more but petrol is so expensive. I started doing two little teaching courses this year. When I finished art school I said I never want to teach again I didn't like what happened to me. In the end I got so fatigued. To get myself into the retirement force I thought I've got a lot of knowledge here, so I can teach and I do. I did a computer workshop last year for two French artists and I've done a little one this year which is quite good because I've had to think and it’s got me back into print making.


I've done two teaching classes and if they're well received, I might do two a year. I've got lots to do and I'm a happy retiree and I know that one maintains ones health by being occupied and have purpose in life. That's important to have purpose in life. I don't believe in religion and God anymore since I've been a student. It can be helpful for some people and give some people purpose. I don't mind being alone I don't think I've ever had the problem of having to be around people all the time. I think in an artistic profession you have to have quiet times to think and make things. That's the nature of that inclination. My only disability is I occasionally nod off. My biggest fear in life is that I might die falling asleep in a chair and then nobody would know. I've another 20 or 30 years to go yet at least and I can keep myself active walking dogs and doing practical thing and eating as well as I can.

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