MUSE - Paige Northwood, Artist @paigenorthwood | www.paigenorthwood.com
Work in progress and process images of Paige working in her studio and surrounds.
Where did you grow up and what was the main reason you relocated to the NT?
I grew up in the coastal beach town of Stanwell Park. It was full of artists and surfers and was its own little bubble.
I travelled to central Australia because I wanted to learn about Indigenous art and because I felt quiet ignorant in terms of issues our country faces and today’s realities of the effects of colonisation. Living in Alice Springs and more remote Indigenous communities has revealed a reality that I had no concept of and was so removed from. With more awareness I feel my heart expand and deepen both in terms of pain and joy. The depth of central Australia is immeasurable.
Having been a ceramicist for many years what made you explore new mediums such as your incredible paintings on board?
The shift in my art practice from ceramic vessels to works on board came because of a shift in energy. The space central Australia allows created space for a free flowing energy within my own body, and to share that, I had to find a new way to express myself.
Working with clay and then using earth pigments for paintings truly go hand in hand - was this a natural progression or did it happen once you were living in the Northern Territory?
I find the flow state through being in nature. It allows me to explore visceral and tangible play and connection. Using what is available in the desert becomes natural, especially when living in remote communities, you may be lucky to have one shop. Not only that using earth pigments in my practice is a direct connection to place. It also is important in exploring memory and cycles of life; reoccurring themes I am interested in.
Having worked with indigenous artists do you find a connection between their approach to making art and yours? Tell us about your approach?
Great question. My line of enquiry when coming to the desert, was to explore something that always fascinated me and boggled my mind. That is the experience of standing in front of a painting and having a physical experience in your body as a direct result of the artwork. I had this experience with an Emily Kngwarreye painting and it lead me down a rabbit hole.
So I found the answer to that question out here. And I endeavour to imprint that energy into my own work. I find my art practice, yoga practice and dance to be all similar. For me it’s all about creative energy that is our life force.
What does home mean to you?
Home is in myself. It is the ocean, the Australian bush, the waterholes. Home to me is feeling deeply connected.
Lastly, what are you working on now?
I am currently working on my fifth solo exhibition that will be showing with Jerico Contemporary, Sydney in March 2021. I have been working in my studio in Alice Springs and it is currently 40 degrees and hotter, and I have no aircon. So I have a big fan and a spray bottle of water. It’s definitely blurring the lines of reality.