Thursday, October 4, 2012

King Island Artist Pam McKay

I’ve lived most of my life in coastal Qld, also lesser time in WA, NSW, and NT.  My husband Noel and I love to travel and discover new places.
After reading of King Island in a national magazine in 2009, we came for a quiet 6 day getaway as retirees and fell under the spell of the island and its people.  We impulsively bought a NW coastal property, sold our Mt Tamborine home in Qld, and moved here.
I grew up on a sugar cane farm driving tractors and playing in the creek. This instilled in me a love of nature and strong colours, the raging red of cane fires, vivid blue mountains beyond, fresh green foliage of tropical Qld along with the multi coloured parrots and tropical fruits. However I was equally as happy experimenting with sewing, crochet and embroidery.  Later my husband and children wore my sewing creations usually of my own design.  Eventually I retired from the workforce and learnt watercolour and acrylic art, life drawing, sculpture, mosaics and patchwork.
In 2007 on a trip through Victoria I first discovered felting – it was love at first sight and feel; I did  a one day workshop in Daylesford and immediately felt it was ‘my’ medium.  I marvelled at the result of working with fine merino wool, tissue silk and beautiful silk fibre.  With a little research I found I lived just 2 hours from Polly and Myfanwy Stirling, and did several 2 and 3 day workshops with this talented duo. However I didn’t extend my knowledge until I moved to KI.

Image courtesy of artist
Moving here has inspired me, given me a sense of freedom I’ve not experienced since childhood.  I now challenge myself and find felting exciting! It’s a way for me to express myself freely, let the work evolve and  be surprised. I continue to explore and learn new techniques, particularly eco-dyeing through books and the work of other artists; nuno felting with rich silk fabric and fibre being my current preference for creating works of felt art.  I particularly admire the work of Liz Clay and Pam Hovell .  
 Image courtesy of artist
The spectacular colours of the sea sand and rocks in the magical glow of the long twilight, perfect rainbows, rugged raw beauty and clean air all lend themselves to creating  fabulous art.

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