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The background art was created on day 1 of the project. Mixedmedia on handmade paper.

Where Art & Grief Meet


I come to this project with a diverse skillset and commitment borne from lifelong engagement in creative, commercial and corporate roles. I am a highly motivated and curious person and view every new day as an opportunity to learn and grow, so even though I've never run a project like this before, my approach is singularly ONWARD!

A spinal injury in late 2001 and surgery in 2002 resulted in chronic pain, depression and permanent mobility and activity restrictions. With an inability to maintain sitting or standing postures and limited fine motor skills I couldn't return to work and earn a living. To add insult to injury, all the creative arts with which I entertained myself and many of my other interests were also no longer feasible. This was the beginning of a new epoch. 


Post-injury I couldn't and wouldn't accept that I would no longer be able to express myself artistically so while undergoing rehab I began to teach myself the Adobe program Illustrator, on a laptop on the sofa. Before I knew it, I had at my fingertips the means to create digital art.

My son was born in 2006 while my relationship crashed and burned in a wholly dramatic and unexpected way. So, as a solo, disabled parent, I harnessed everything I had to launch a microbusiness, soph&son, in 2007: 

  • creating digital art & selling prints

  • fine art commissions

  • and lots of other things

Prior to my injury, I worked in many roles including

  • administration / planning

  • photo developing & printing (prior to digital)

  • event photography and portraiture

  • publishing/editorial at Oxford University Press Australia

  • film production and scriptwriting

  • disability advocacy and student services

In 2012 my only sibling, my brother passed away unexpectedly from sudden cardiac arrest. You can read about him here

In 2015 my son was diagnosed with ADHD and later Autism (PDA). More about his space on the Autism spectrum is here.

In 2018 I became my father’s full time carer as he was overtaken by a rare autoimmune disorder called IgG4 which infiltrates the body, mimicking cancer, causing tumours and organ necrosis and eventually organ failure.


In November 2019 as Dad declined, I optimistically enrolled in my first ever painting class (online) as I could no longer leave Dad to attend the local pottery studio I'd escape to for a few hours respite each week. The painting class was due to start April 2020.

Dad died at home as COVID-19 lockdowns started in March 2020. My art class commenced just days later and I have been making art every day since.

This is some of the background that underpins this project.

Go to Project Summary

Go to Podcast 

Go to Contributors

Go to Funding

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