Last night artist Chris Bellamy achieved one of her artistic dreams. She opened her first Sydney solo exhibition at the Iain Dawson Gallery. Her time growing up in the small town of Donnybrook in the south-west of Western Australia inspired the paintings. Over the years Chris has also worked as an illustrator, with her work published not only in Australia, but also in Europe and North America. She currently lives in Victoria.
Which five words best describe you? Creative, mum, visual, intuitive and sociable.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? As a young child in a small country town, I always entertained myself by drawing. My Nanna had a special drawer for me in her kitchen full of coloured pencils and kept butchers paper in her oven griller that she never used because she preferred her wood stove. I left home at 16 to study graphic design in Perth and then worked for a tiny advertising agency in Perth. I moved to Melbourne and continued illustrating in many forms. I also “pounded the pavement” in New York and London which led to overseas work through a New York agent. I have always painted in between illustration and love the creative freedom and independence of it.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To trust my intuition.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Having a solo show at the Iain Dawson Gallery.
What’s been your best decision? To paint full time.
What are you passionate about? My children, art, gardening, interior design, music, opp-shops, sculpture and craft. I love the many hues of red.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I would love to see all my grandparents again. My Nanna had 14 children - I have so many questions!
What dream do you still want to fulfill? To be able to paint for as long as possible.
What are you reading? Mirka Mora’s biography, Where Angels Fear to Tread and copious numbers of interior design magazines.