Storyteller Born

I was 12 years old when my family visited the Australian National Gallery in Canberra. My uncle, aunt and cousin David were with us. I don't actually remember much of what I saw, because while we were there, I had something of a revelation.
I wasn' t really aware of art as a child - pictures were part of storytelling, even the works in the house had stories to go with them. But at the gallery, I was taught something new.
David was an artist (still is) and he asked me what I thought of the work in the gallery. I think I muttered something about it being rubbish because it didn't make any sense. (Eh, out of the mouths of babes.) That began my first lesson in art.

David took me around to every composition and asked me what I saw, what I thought it meant, what it could mean, and suddenly I realized, it was still story-telling, but in a different language, in metaphor and symbolism. A new way of telling stories.

Of course, I've had many years of study and research since then, and there have been any number of influential artists and teachers on that journey. But it would never have happened at all had my cousin not taken the time to explain to a young girl what the nonsense in front of her actually meant. I've always credited David for my love of art - because you can't love something until it is given meaning.