I’m often asked how did I get from Australia to Italy, and why am I helping others to rediscover their creativity through photography and travel. As with most of us, there is no one thing that brought me here, but a wandering pathway through life that will be told in parts… I was about to rediscover my path of creativity by taking photos and telling stories.
I remember my English grandparents for their love of science and research, and their creative expressions. My grandfather was a photographer, and my grandmother expressed her creativity through needlepoint – exquisite tapestries and beautiful cross-stitch pieces. And both were science teachers. For both of them, their two passions – science and creative expression – captured both the big and the small things in life. And importantly, I remember the times we spent together – their visits to Australia, and our family visits to England. I remember those times because we would talk about stories.
Their passion for words – for finding the stories in what we saw – for expanding experiences rather than closing things down – remain with me. For him – for me, photos are a glimpse into a story. I see photos as a doorway to a story – maybe the beginning of a story – an introduction to a new person or adventure. Sometimes a photo is a moment on a special journey – in someone’s life, or to a place long imagined. Sometimes it is a celebration of planning – a record of a family event, time with friends, the end of a life-chapter, or the gateway to a new experience.
A Change in Direction
At 25 I chose to change the direction of my life. I chose to step out of the predictable path of university degree and into a creative realm. Enrolling in a private design school on the edge of North Sydney’s business district, I found my passion and energies were amplified. I truly loved what I was doing. Moving from study to work, I started designing neon signs – great big letters of light! But travel still whispered to me, as it had years earlier when I’d headed off to Canada and the UK for what became a five-month adventure.
Living in Australia you get used to the sun-drenched colours of summer, of tropical flowers and fruits, the brightly coloured birds, of dried grasses, and of the blue ocean. It surrounds you. Time in Canada through the autumn, and then England in the winter, I experienced completely different palettes.
At first I found it hard to find the beauty – my eye was not used to looking, not used to seeing. That first trip – turning 20 in my first month overseas – had stayed with me. My return overseas after design school and a year of working was only supposed to be a 12-month working holiday in Canada. It became the start of a multi-decade expat journey, filled with changing the way I saw the world as I saw new places and met new people.
Taking Photos Changed My Life
Jumping forward a couple of decades, the advent of digital photography changed my world again. Suddenly it was easy to take photos – to capture moments that surround me. Through working with words as my professional tool, visual expression had taken a back seat. After years of professional focus in office environments, it was easy to play again, to look for, see, and record the world around me. I felt that I could FLY!