On the Couch with Jenny Crompton

Jenny Crompton_photo by Brett Kiteley oncWho is Jenny Crompton?
I am sculptor, painter and mother. I make art that expresses my relationship to the land. Collecting and responding to natural materials is a central part of my creative process.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I would have stood up to my high school careers adviser, when she told me it was ridiculous for women to study the arts and women need to be in business. I would not have battled through that horrible banking and finance degree. Before starting my art practice I studied acting, another misguided pursuit. With hindsight I would have started my art practice earlier.

Who inspires you and why?
The stories told by the amazing diversity of Australian indigenous artists. The artworks inform, excite, educate and humble me.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Standing up to racism and ignorance.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
The remote islands of Indonesia for their amazing cultural diversity.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
I am fortunate to be living on my country now, the magnificent Victorian surf coast so when people come, whatever season, it’s down to the beach for a walk, talk or surf at Point Addis (Godocut).

What are you currently reading?
Campfires at the Cross – An account of the Bunting Dale Aboriginal Mission at Birregurra, near Colac, Victoria 1839-1851. A great read, highly informative and incredibly devastating.

What are you currently listening to?
Cid Inc, Luis Hill, Nick Cave, Minilogue, Perfect Stranger, Warumpi Band, The Saints,……..

Happiness is?
A blank canvas, a blank piece of paper and a fresh idea. A day at the beach with my partner, son, dogs, surfboards, picnic and staying till stumps ‘fried and tired’. The gathering and collecting of natural materials seems to stop time for me and allows me to reach a medative state.

What does the future hold for you?
Always responding to inspiration.

Jenny Crompton’s connection to the coastal areas where she lives, especially Godocut (Point Addis) informs her art practice. Living near ancient middens always makes her flicker to the past and the old ways of living. Knowing that she is living and walking where her ancestors once walked, lets her reinterpret who she is, where she has come from and what is around her.

Jenny creates work by collecting and gathering, seaweed, kelp, grasses, and what the tides may bring in and out, responding to these natural materials, finding ways to reconfigure them, whether in painting, weaving or making sculpture.

Jenny was the winner of the $30,000 Deadly Art Award at the 2014 Victorian Indigenous Art Awards, announced on Saturday 23 August at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. For more information, visit: www.indigenousartawards.com.au for details.

Image: Jenny Crompton – photo by Brett Kiteley