“Creativity has always been such fundamental part of my expression and understanding,” says Sydney-based artist Sally Anderson. “I am and have always been such a visual, intuitive and curious person.” Her initial introduction to art was through her mother, “a real maker of things”, Sally says. Growing up on the Northern Rivers of NSW, they would often go to the local craft markets and get ideas for what they could make at home. Sally started her undergraduate studies in Visual Art at Southern Cross University but halfway through she transferred to studying Fine Art at COFA in Sydney, and completed her degree in 2013 with a major in printmaking. After her graduate show some galleries invited her to participate in group shows, and many of her works were picked up by Sarah O’Neil of Small Spaces. Last year Sally travelled to Europe where she worked for an artist in Spain and participated in an artist residency at SIM - The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists - in Reykjavik, Iceland. “I still feel I have a long, exciting road ahead of me in terms of my career and I am so fortunate to have begun making a career out of my passion,” she says.

Which five words best describe you? Indecisive, visual, interested, intuitive, settled/unsettled.

How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? It’s hard for me to pinpoint where and when my career started. I managed to draw out my undergraduate degree over a period of seven years, and in that time I was exposed to and taught by incredible/generous lecturers and artists, undertook a residency in Iceland, was offered nanny/assistant work for a wonderful artist who invited me to a studio space in Alexandria, began selling printmaking based works in Small Spaces in Redfern and exhibiting in groups show around Sydney. Since finishing my degree and having limited access to printmaking facilities I’ve set up a painting studio. This has been a refreshing shift in my practice and I am currently enjoying the directness and possibilities of paint, though I am really looking forward to making some new print-based works soon.

What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To be open and interested. Everything is interesting and opportunities/inspiration arise in the some of the most unexpected and unassuming places.

What’s your proudest career achievement? Spending my days in the studio.

What’s been your best decision? Turning down an offer to study psychology at university to pursue study in art. 

Who inspires you? Children, people who grow their own vegetables, artists with children, my brothers, all of my friends, Jean Louise (Scout) Finch, Henri Matisse, Murray Paterson, Karen Dalton, Claudia Karvan, Lara Merrett, Tony Tuckson, Mamma Andersson, people I meet daily.

What are you passionate about? Looking. 

Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Can I name a few? Karen Dalton, Karin Mamma Anderson, My Pop’s Mother, John Cage, Anni Albers.

What dream do you still want to fulfil? Read more fiction, live/work in the Australian desert, eat Tasmanian oysters in Tasmania, have my own home in the country someday.

What are you reading? I start lots of books and don’t finish many of them. I am currently reading: White by Kenya Hara, Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi, rereading Breath by Tim Winton, and listening to To Kill a Mockingbird audiobook written by Harper Lee and read by Sissy Spacek - highly recommend this!

images courtesy of sally anderson