I was born on 4th July 1970 in Melbourne, Australia into a typical Aussie working class family. My Dad was a “saw doctor” and my Mum was bursar at a local primary school. At school I struggled with academic subjects and therefore I naturally gravitated to the more practical ones, particularly art and craft based ones. When I was seventeen I enrolled in a technical and further education college (TAFE) to study Art and Design, this was a general qualification covering life drawing, general drawing, jewellery, printmaking and ceramics. The course gave me the entry qualification to get into the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, even though my art teacher in secondary school had told my mum that I didn’t have the ability to get into such a prestigious university! I studied fine art but again I found the academic aspects very difficult (nightmare!), so much so that I failed my major subject - ceramics and had to repeat my second year. Eventually through hard work and the help of my family and friends I finally succeeded in getting my degree in 1993.
My academic life was always difficult for me, I watched the other kids apparently sail through whilst I always just managed to scrape by - no matter how hard I tried. It was during this difficult period in my life that I went on a camping trip to Kakadoo national park in the Northern Territory of Australia which completely change my perspective on life. My home city of Melbourne is a modern metropolis of over a million people and it’s based on European traditions. It has great cappuccino, skyscrapers, bars and restaurants and any European traveller would find the city somewhat familiar. The Northern Territory is the most remote and empty part of Australia, it has huge skies with vistas that seem prehistoric, in fact some of the oldest rocks on the planet together with fossils of some of the first life to evolve are found here. It was whilst I was staring at a 30,000 year old aboriginal rock painting of the Rainbow Serpent that I realised that I wasn’t from this continent and that I had an incredible desire to see the rest of the world and to find out where I was from and find my own warrior man.
Ten years later on a rainy October night I found myself at a party in the West End of London talking to a six foot tall Yorkshireman that I’d just met and who had told me he needed a queen and would I be her? Of course we fell in love and then the problems of where I was from really started. I had been in the UK partying and supply teaching for a year and a half and my visa was due to expire in April and I would have to leave the country. The only way to stay was either to get married (a bit risky!) or go back into full time education - back to the nightmare. So a degree (my third by now) in product design at Manchester Met. beckoned. It was whilst I was there that they diagnosed me with very severe dyslexia, one of the best days of my life as now I knew I wasn’t the thick kid after all and all those struggles through my earlier life had a medical explanation. Everything up to this point began to come together and this was really the start of getting my own art out of my head and into reality.
After my degree I got my own studio and got stuck in. I have worked at pushing glass into new areas of product design, making innovative products such as glass handbags and jewellery. In the range of glass work I’ve produced I have used different types of glass, including space aged dichroic glass first invented by NASA for the space race.
I’ve had exhibitions in both Australia and Britain and done a few commissions, my favourite one being for the Arts Council which was to make some lifetime achievement awards for the sons and daughters of Dewsbury, including speaker of the House of Commons, Baroness Betty Boothroyd and Star Treks Patrick Stewart. I’ve sold my work through many different outlets but to be honest it goes faster than I can make it so I’m not exactly commercial in my approach to marketing.
So that’s my story up to now if somewhat condensed I hope you weren't too bored with what I’ve got to say, I hope you like my website perhaps you’d like to come to do a course with me or even buy a bit of my jewellery or other pieces, thanks for taking the time to read this far.
Cheerio, Liz, xxx