Wendy Castleden

Art is a passion I’ve been chasing for years. I’m curious, fascinated, and inspired by life’s experiences and the strange beauty found in unexpected places. As my mother was an artist, we were never far away from the smell of oil paints, or from days when a painting was more important than cooking the dinner.

Banned from an art class at school for most of one term for doing my own thing, it didn’t stop my doodling and creative thoughts. Art school was where I wanted to go, but was told it wasn’t a profession, although I was allowed one course before being hauled out to study nursing at a London hospital. The only drawing at that time was on the children’s ward where I would sketch some of the sick children, and back in the nurses quarters, draw some outrageous fashions, … this was the 60’s where imagination could run wild.

My early life in England was followed by marriage, babies, world travel; finding our feet in Australia and taking small bundles to art classes in Claremont where they would sleep peacefully through the hours in the art room. When the children were old enough, I was employed by a tile company painting house numbers, a process of on-glaze painting, which was also used to paint basins, toilets kitchen back drops, and decorative tiles used in garden schemes. For a while I taught my style of on-glaze painting. After finding a studio in Fremantle, I worked in oils and pastels, stimulated by long walks and Caminos in Europe, which led to three successful solo exhibitions.

Later, when we moved to Margaret River I made a studio in the shed we had lived in whilst building a house.  After another successful exhibition in the Church Gallery, the time for art became more available as the idea of having Open Studios in the area became a reality.

This will be the sixth year I have been showing work in my studio, which is now attached to the house. It is a most stimulating time with ideas from research providing constant and rich possibilities for my work. I am finding an ever-increasing need to experiment in the curious and wonderful world of art. My choice of medium depends on the subject; with recent works employing charcoal, inks, oils, coloured pencils and natural dyes. This year I am involved in a process of layering and looking at what is behind an image; finding the curious in both modern and ancient places where previous images have been almost obliterated. It is exciting to show the texture of such ‘social media’ through the ages.

6780 Caves Road, Redgate

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Please note that many of the studios are private venues and not open to the public outside of the Open Studio's event dates. If you wish to visit a studio at an alternative time please contact the artist directly.