30 November 2008
Margaret West is an artist who sometimes makes jewellery; she reads, avidly but selectively, and, similarly, listens to music; she writes: poetry, essays, and ruminations about many things, especially developing aspects of her art practice; she is also a gardener who admires both roses and dandelions; and she (usually) enjoys cooking, especially for guests.
Born and resident in Melbourne until 1978, she studied sculpture and printmaking at RMIT in the nineteen fifties, then ceramics, painting, and gold and silver-smithing at RMIT in the nineteen seventies. She has also studied philosophy and music (piano, oboe, and viola).In 1979 Margaret West moved to Sydney to take up a position at Sydney College of the Arts where she taught until 1999.
She has travelled and exhibited extensively in Australia and overseas and is represented in major national and international art collections. Her poetry and essays are published in journals and anthologies and on the internet. She has published several artist's books which develop a dialogue between text and image.
Her work is informed by interests that range through literature, art and music, philosophy, science and technology. Concern about political issues is frequently a springboard for the development of work.
Her art practice is polymorphic and idiosyncratic, moving between installation, object making, jewellery, drawing, and photography. She employs a variety of materials and processes, as dictated by the matter in hand. These, in turn, play their role in determining the focus and form of the work.
She considers her two sons: Robert (born 1965) and Vincent (born 1969) to be her best work to date.
Since 2000 Margaret West has been on location at Blackheath in the Upper Blue Mountains of New South Wales, where she delights in the clear air and the solitude.