Margaret West

keynote speaker (Australia)

Photograph of Margaret West

Margaret West - self portrait
on location in porthole,
Arctic Circle

Margaret West is an artist who sometimes makes jewellery; she writes — mostly poetry and essays; she is also a gardener who admires both roses and dandelions.

She was born in Melbourne, and studied Sculpture and Printmaking at RMIT in the 1950s, then Ceramics, Painting and Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT in the 1970s. She has also studied philosophy and music — piano, oboe and viola.

In 1979 she moved to Sydney to take up a position at Sydney College of the Arts where she taught until 1999.

West has exhibited widely 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.

Image of Margaret West's STILL LIFE natura mortua installed at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Margaret West, STILL LIFE natura mortua - 2003
Installed in the National Gallery of Victoria; stone, paint,
graphite, wax; 600x600x10cm; photo: Shannon McGrath

Her work is informed by interests which range through literature, art and music, philosophy, science and technology, archaeology, geology, botany and gardening. Concern about political issues is often a springboard for the development of work.

West employs a variety of materials and processes in her work, as dictated by the matter in hand. These, in turn, play their role in determining the focus and form of the work.

Since 2000 Margaret West has been on location at Blackheath in the Upper Blue Mountains of New South Wales.

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