From an early age, art has been a central part of my life. Growing up with both parents working part-time as artists whilst running a small gallery meant that there were always artists around and exciting art projects afoot.
After completion of secondary school, I commenced a Bachelor of Visual Arts at the Queensland University of Technology, but departed in the second year feeling that I wasn't extracting the most I could out of the degree. I continued my arts practice - dabbling in stained glass, printmaking, textiles, and film-making but mostly focussing on painting.
Moving to the Sunshine Coast in the late-1990's I continued to paint, selling my work through a number of outlets on the Sunshine Coast and in Brisbane. I was encouraged by receiving the Best Emerging Artist Award at the Immanuel Arts Festival in 2002, and First Prize in the Jean Glanvill Landscape Award at the Kenilworth Arts Festival in 2007.
Meanwhile, my parents Phil and Valerie Willy, who had been producing ceramic sculpture and wares for several years, had also moved to the Sunshine Coast where they set up a new sculpture workshop.
'The Shed', as it is fondly referred to, continues to be an industrious and productive space today with countless creations in ceramics, timber, cast bronze, wire and concrete being realised over the last 18 years. Working part-time in my family's thriving ceramics business from an early age, has provided an invaluable hands-on education in ceramics and formed the foundation of my current arts practice
Several years ago, inspired by the colourful tile-work and ceramic traditions in Portugal, I decided to make a shift from painting on canvas to painting on clay. This fusion of my ceramics background with my painting practice has proven to be a happy alchemy. With the infinite possibilities for exploration and learning that clay provides, many years of inspired play are anticipated.