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"When I paint it feels like playing Jazz. It’s a language. A conversation. Sometimes whispered, sometimes loud and boisterous but always full of layers.  These layers come from improvisations, influenced by what I see in the world around me, or a current obsession I have, or the mood I’m wanting to conjure.  I use conscious interior design themes and colours but these are always expressed with complete spontaneity. There’s a newness in each improvised layer that can only come from where I’m at, in that moment. Painting feels like an extended jazz solo. But where live performance is fleeting in nature, a painting will last, hopefully forever."

I grew up with a grandmother who was a painter and a mother who was a performer. I guess it’s no surprise that I am both and that I constantly 'draw lines' between the two.

My Grandmother, Kit, would paint all night and sleep all day… she said it was too hot in Queensland to be creative during the day.


She taught me to paint when I was big enough to hold the brush. One of my earliest memories is of sneaking little sips from the pretty coloured water jars where she would wash the paints from the brushes. So I guess you could say painting has, literally, always been in my blood! Artists were few and far between in the rural landscape of my home town of Rockhampton in Central Queensland, but it was just a way of life in my family. 


My mum, Annette, was a well known speech and drama teacher and a bit of a celebrity about the town. Mum would cook our dinner at night and then run off to rehearse theatre shows at the Rockhampton Little Theatre Clubrooms - a magical place where the adults used to laugh too loudly while smoking cigarettes and playing dress ups. I adored going with her. I’d take my blanket and pillow and watch them rehearse plays until I’d fall asleep under a row of seats. 


These two amazing women are my constant and greatest influences, and although they are both no longer with us, their legacy has allowed me to always view the world through an artist's eyes - something for which I am eternally grateful.

My greatest inspiration is my husband Hayden and our two children. Hayden and I met at University where we both studied to be Actors.  Over the years we've worked together performing on the streets, in short films, festivals, circus and theatres and we have always supported each other in our individual creative practise (easier said than done when children arrive!) As a family, we've  embraced our roller coaster life together, screaming in unison during the moments of exhilaration and squeezing each other tight during the moments of terror. Our life outside the box has taken us many places, from working in shows all around the country to international touring with Cirque du Soleil and finally settling in Melbourne. For now.

I feel certain that life is about the journey not the destination. And the more you take in along the way, the more fun and fulfilling the journey is. In my art making, I am drawn to the quirky and the unconventionally beautiful and I have a passion for making the ordinary extraordinary.




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 © All rights reserved.  Carita Farrer Spencer.