For 10 years Sydney painter Gria Shead lived in Hill End, a former gold mining town in country NSW which is now known for its artist-in-residence program. She spent her time there painting alongside former husband Luke Sciberras, and raising their daughter, Stella. Since returning to Sydney Gria has returned to a place where she used to paint: Vaucluse House, a historic house in the Eastern Suburbs. She is exhibiting works from this current series at the Tim Olsen Gallery in Sydney until 12 August 2012.
Which five words best describe you? Artist, mother, optimistic, grateful, curious.
How have you progressed to a career as an artist? Just kept painting, painting and drawing always returning to painting and drawing.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Negativity gets you nowhere.
What's was the starting point for this exhibition? My starting point for this exhibition of paintings of interiors was to find a place that I connected with, but that also had meaning for others. I chose Vaucluse House, which is essentially a museum, so it is there to communicate with a wide audience from a historical point of view but in order to connect on a more emotional level I had to find something that resonated for me beyond the history and my own love of the place. I love researching my subject matter, discovering threads which I follow - some are stronger than others. The titles are the end result - the summation in a way, of the different threads. The Italian poet Petrarch was the strongest.
What’s your proudest career achievement? My current show “In the House”.
What’s been your best decision? Travelling when I was 20.
Who inspires you? My daughter Stella.
What are you passionate about? Colour, nature, painting, music, film, travel, research, fabric, interiors.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Buddha.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To exhibit overseas.
What are you reading? The fatal shore by Robert Hughes.