An Industrial Design degree, a knack with computers, an aversion to the advertising industry and a family full of pharmacists led to a career in 3D medical modelling and animation. The path to get there took in medical Industrial Design, Graphic Design, digital 2D animation and web design.
Having spent over a decade working in the commercial art world in large cities in Australia and the UK, Fiona was unsatisfied and set out to work for herself in a smaller, friendlier location.
Hello tree change, hello slow lifestyle, a great step in the right direction.
After the death of someone close to her, she really took the idea that ‘this is not a dress rehearsal’ to heart and finally answered that pesky question that had been nagging at her for years, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”
“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.” – Terence McKenna
Now settled in Bellingen, NSW, Australia, her art is influenced by the connection (or lack thereof!) apparent between people and nature – our environment.
Her artistic focus is to encourage people to reconnect, to start where they are, with appreciating and noticing the natural world all around, whether that’s through gardening or cooking with real food or by slowing down and really paying attention to their local environment. Because once you notice, you can’t un-notice. And once you notice, you start to really care what happens to our world.
“This paying attention, also called mindfullness, and connection with nature is at the heart of how I create my artworks. Each piece is done as a meditation in itself. Where some people chant mantras to meditate or focus on a mandala or try to empty their mind, I draw. The process of drawing or painting is the meditation. And the resulting artwork exudes this meditative healing quality, the connection with the essence of the subject, that created it.”
Art as activism
We need a new paradigm of how to live. Of sharing, of truly honouring interconnection, of integrity. I am helping to build this, now. By shining a light on and helping to normalise a new way of viewing the world and by spreading awareness that we must act. It is time. Together we create our world.
“The longer I spend on this planet the less I am able to look away when I see the damage we are doing to it. The more skills and talents I develop, the more I feel that using what I have learned will be best put to use in helping change the destructive path we are on. We are shitting in our own house when we dump, pollute, clearfell, mine and raze the ‘natural environment’. It is not ‘out there’. It is our home – all the air and water circulates with whatever hazards we put in it – and although the planet is large we have made so much mess that we cannot avoid stepping around it and in it any more.
My skills and talents are visual. The more time I spend looking at art, the more convinced I am that using art as activism is the best use of what I do.”
Fiona volunteers her time to Bellingen SeedSavers, Coffs Coast Climate Action Group, the Koala Tree Parents tree planting project and annual Community Koala Surveys both in Bongil Bongil National Park, as well as supporting other environmental and community building projects where possible.
Fishing the Sea of the Unconscious.
“We each must become like fishermen, and go out onto the dark ocean of mind, and let your nets down into that sea… And the greatest good you can do is to bring back a new idea, because our world is endangered by the absence of good ideas. Our world is in crisis because of the absence of consciousness.
And so, to whatever degree, any one of us can bring back a small piece of the picture, and contribute it to the building of the new paradigm. Then we participate in the redemption of the human spirit.” – Terence McKenna
2014 ‘Meditations on a Cook’s Garden’, Nexus Popup Gallery, Bellingen, NSW.
2013 ‘Light as a Feather’, Federal Hotel, Bellingen, NSW.
2011 ‘Food Paintings’ The Window, Art Gallery of Ballarat, Ballarat, Victoria.
Juried Group Exhibitions
2014 ‘Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail’, Greater Port Macquarie, NSW. Organised by Art and Health Australia.
2012 ‘Art in the Streets’, Gourmet Cafe @ the Mill, Bendigo, Victoria. Organised by the Bendigo Advertiser.
Selected Group Exhibitions
2013 ‘Twitter Art Exhibit’, Art Division, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Sold on opening night.