I was born and have lived all my life in Adelaide, South Australia.
I studied at the South Australian School of Art (the oldest art school in Australia) in the 1960s and subsequently at Finders University, the University of Adelaide and, finally, the University of South Australia from which I gained my PhD in 2009. After a long career as an arts educator culminating in the role of Principal Lecturer, Visual Arts at Adelaide College of the Arts, I am now concentrating on my art practice and research.
My practice focuses on illustration, mostly that associated with imaginative literature although I also work in the areas of natural history, botanical and food illustration. I also enjoy the challenge of making work for exhibition. However, pretty much everything I do can be classified as illustration or decoration, especially in relation to text. I work in colour, mostly dry media, and also extensively in black and white – scraperboard, pen and ink and graphite.
In recent years I have been working in colour on fine silver and copper and have also been collaborating in jewellery design.
My research interests include the Arts & Crafts and Private Press Movements; William Morris and his circle; the design, decoration, illustration and collection of books; and the cultural contribution to South Australia, through their advanced artistic taste, generosity and philanthropy, of the Barr Smith family.