Born 1920 in Sydney to a third generation Australian father and
an English mother who was brought up in Belguim. The first two
and a half years were spent in Belguim, but after that Sydney
became home base; a strange experience for both parents (father
had been brought up in Melbourne). Despite his bad health after
Gallipoli, they gave me and my sister and brother a comfortable
and secure ambiance in which to grow up and we were competently
educated at North Sydney schools. And we benefited from their
liberal attitudes and intellectual curiosity.
Because I showed a certain persistant talent for drawing and painting
over years, I was sent to East Sydney Technical College which
housed an art school - technically very good, but extremely conservative
which is no doubt why Percy Lindsay recommended my going there.
The Lindsay's abhored that European mob - Picasso et al - who
saw the world with splintered eyes. Later I continued creating
but earned money by designing silk fabrics. Then as war was raging
and the Navy began taking in women I joined up and entered another
world for four years. When I was released in 1945, I taught design
for a year and then took off for England to study that "European
mob" of painters and be with Jock Marshall, who whirl-winded
into my life in Townsville.
Post-war England was utterley different and often difficult.
In order to earn money and travel in Europe, I started to write
scripts and do broadcast talks for the B.B.C. Overseas and Home
Services. In 1950 Jock and I married, having lived together for
three years. So began ten years in a house in Hampstead filled
with children, stimulation and work - I did much scientific illustrating
for Jock and many other zoologists in this time.
In 1960, with three children, we returned to Australia after fourteen years away. For me, never having been back, it was a time for learning all over again - but the challenge brought out a new feeling of creativity which has lasted through many years.