THE VAMP COLLECTIVE: NEST
WORK BY ANN BETTS, SARAH CANHAM, KATHERINE DOUGLAS, WENDY SHERIDAN AND LIZZIE TONGWAY
The VAMP (Visual Artist Mothers Posse) Collective are a group of five women artists living in the Central Highlands of Victoria who share a common vision for their individual artistic careers and our community. They feel that living in regional Australia gives them a unique perspective on the issues, culture and life outside the major cities. They discovered the shared challenges of balancing motherhood, home, work, study and their creative practices while studying visual arts at university. The support they give each other enables them all to overcome these challenges and to realise their individual and collective artistic potential.
As a collective, their work is complementary in terms of artistic rigor and professional practice: they have shared values and similar environmental and social influences and concerns. However their artistic styles, themes of investigation, and mediums are diverse. This makes for dynamic and engaging exhibitions that are purposeful and compelling.
Ann Betts is currently completing a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Federation University, after which she plans to build a practice in both photographic and ceramic art. She has loved and created art all her life, but only now, after a career break to raise six children, has she had the time and opportunity to pursue her passion for art with a formal education course.
As an artist, Betts feels that she is always learning, changing and developing and this is reflected in the range of work and the different mediums that she uses. She has a strong connection to the natural world and an appreciation of the unusual, both of which she tries to reflect in her work.
Sarah Canham has had a love of creative arts since a young age and has followed this interest throughout her life. She has a passion for nature has pursued this in her career. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from Charles Sturt University, and a Masters of Environment from University of Melbourne. She has had a career in natural resource management and conservation and still works in this industry. She has travelled extensively and lived interstate and overseas, has admired and is inspired by many of the world’s famous artworks, and amazing natural wonders.
As a part-time Bachelor of Visual Arts student at Federation University, Canham juggles work, parenting and creating – her current focus is on printmaking and ceramics. She is using art to express her awe for the natural world, and concerns for the future, including for Indigenous culture, and native flora and fauna in Australia. She also reflects on the current and past women and mother artists who have experienced the challenge of juggling art, career and motherhood, and have been under-represented in the arts community for millennia.
Katherine Douglas is an Australian artist and writer living in the Ballarat region. Her practice encompasses a broad range of mediums, including painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture. Conceptually, she is motivated by concepts of environment and home, offering both local and global perspectives. Her work strikes a balance between the personal and broad themes affecting us all.
Douglas is an active member of the Ballarat arts community while completing her Visual Arts degree. She receives regular commissions, has exhibited locally and has work in various private collections.
Wendy Sheridan is a passionate creative. After growing up in western Victoria, she spent 14 years in London before returning to Australia in 2014 and is now based in Ballarat. Her creative career has spanned many industries from floristry to cake decorating. She has recently returned to formal studies to hone her creative skills and consolidate her arts practice.
Sheridan works mainly in the 2D space, painting and printmaking, and currently her work focuses around identity, reflecting upon how we are shaped by our lives and our families.
Lizzie Tongway is a ceramic artist based in Ballarat, who has recently completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Ceramics) at Federation University Australia. Her focus is on creating functional wares that quickly become family favorites.
Her ceramics arts practice was first nurtured in childhood, then re-awoken in adulthood. Wheel thrown and altered pieces are her current focus. Lizzie’s work has sold at exhibitions and artist markets and internationally. She also takes regular commissions for bespoke pieces.
FIND OUT MORE
More images of these five artists’ work and contact details can be found at their website.
& OPENING HOURS
This exhibition was to be presented in Backspace Gallery during April 2020 but has been postponed until 2021.