On the Couch with Lynda Draper

Lynda Draper AAR On the CouchWho is Lynda Draper?
Artist and educator, currently Head of Ceramics at the National Art School, Sydney and the recipient of the recently announced 2019 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award. Lives in The Illawarra region of NSW with my partner and son.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I felt the compulsion to make art my entire life… almost like I had no other choice in spite of some difficulties.

Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by many artists who work in a broad range of art mediums. My students who will be the next generation of emerging artists. I am inspired by a lot of outsider art and motivated by its authentic nature and how such amazing artworks are created within individual worlds that are unaffected by the outside art world. Two works I return to are Ferdinand Cheval’s most extraordinary structure Palais Idéal in Hauterives, France, and Leonard Knight’s Salvation Mountain which is located in the lower desert of Southern California.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I try to make a small difference by assisting my students at the National Art School to find an individual artistic voice and support those who feel insecure, in some small way give back the support I received when I was a student. I am very fortunate to have experienced and to have been part such an amazing educational environment: to have had the opportunity to be a student then a lecturer at an institution with such a rich tradition and legacy. It is at the National Art School that I learnt the importance of the transference of skills and knowledge, and the significance of mentorship – all of which have informed my career as an artist and an educator within the ceramics field.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
A snowy mountain top or a wintery coastal destination with a good surf break. Why, because I find the connection to nature an integral part to my well-being.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Night swimming in the local ocean rockpool – because it is magical.

What are you currently reading?
2019 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Catalogue, Vitamin C: Clay and Ceramic in Contemporary Art, Phaidon Press, MFA Research papers.

What are you currently listening to?
ABC Radio National.

Happiness is?
When those closest to me are happy and healthy. I also felt really happy when I received the 2019 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award. I felt so honoured to have received the Award, and so privileged to have had the opportunity to exhibit at SAM where so many significant contemporary artists have exhibited their ceramic works in the past. The experience is empowering and liberating! I look forward to the impact that receiving the award will have on my art practice and future creative opportunities in the future.

What does the future hold for you?
I am planning to focus on creating a new body of ceramic work with the assistance of the proceeds from the 2019 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award. There are also some exciting international creative opportunities on the horizon.

Lynda is the recipient of the 2019 Sidney Myer Fund Australian Ceramic Award (SMFACA) – which celebrates and promotes contemporary Australian artists working in the ceramic medium. An exhibition of her work, Somnambulism (2019), and the other finalists is currently on show at the Shepparton Art Museum until 1 September 2019. For more information, visit: www.sheppartonartmuseum.com.au for details.

Image: Lynda Draper (supplied)