Samantha Vines is a Gamillaroy Indigenous artist and mother.
In 2020 she completed a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Arts. This degree involved exploring family histories and traumas – both historical and in her own personal history. This was explored largely through the medium of drawing, a Major in printmaking and learning traditional weaving techniques. She is now studying a Masters of Art in Visual Arts, at Griffith University.
Her current arts practice and designs are based around issues of mental health and abstract emotional mapping, which she explores through diverse media from printmaking to illustrative drawing and design.
Do you remember when you first became interested in creating art?
My journey and interest in art started when I was very young. I fondly recall sitting at a small table with my older sister, eagerly waiting for the play dough to cook on the stove that my mother was making to sculpt and mould my tiny creations.
Was there anyone in your life who inspired you to become an artist?
My first inspirations were my Nanna and my auntie. My Nanna was always sewing and my auntie was always moulding clay into mini sculptures to sell at the Sunday markets. My older sis encouraged me to continue my practice and explained on my studies with art.
Where do you draw inspiration from and what does your creative process look like?
I draw my inspiration from life experiences both past and present. My sense of identity and my well-being and mental state. My daughter and being a mother is also a point of my inspiration. My process starts with a sketch as I feel my way through drawing and making connections to my emotions and self identify.
Do you have a favourite medium to work with?
My favourite mediums are sketching and weaving.
Are there any mediums that you haven’t explored yet but would like to?
I would like to explore digital art, because it will give me another medium to share my creative vision in a way that I haven’t been able to before.
Do you feel your cultural background impacts your work? If so, can you tell us more about this?
My cultural background impacts my work. As I have been searching for my sense of identity and connection with the world since I was very young, through parts of my art I express this.
What do you hope people take away from your work?
I hope to inspire the audience with my art and the stories behind them, inspiring them to create their own artworks.
Can you tell us what you are currently working on?
I’m currently working on coloured cartoon sketches of emotional balloons.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?
My advice is to just keep practicing using a range of mediums and to remember there’s no mistakes in art, just go with it!
Family Ties (2018)
Medium Black ink pen drawing on watercolour paper
“This artwork is a silhouette of the hand. It is about DNA and where we all belong in the universe. A touch of the hand can be many things. It can be the helping hand of a stranger, a familiar face or even the help of one’s self when we need it the most.
Internal Scars (2019)
“‘Internal Scars’ was created by using the rituals of printmaking to transform internal pain through the processes of line making. The work is made by drawing on the subconscious through the creative process and is a way of balancing out the mental states when dealing with anxiety, depression and PTSD. Similar to Indigenous traditions of scarification, the process transforms pain from lived experience and inter-generational trauma into a marker of a rite of passage and the print becomes a signifier of survival. The textural lines also reference weaving, the layers of experience that make up the emotional state and complexity of the individual. Through these processes the artist reveals hidden emotions and turns difficult experiences into a manifestation of healing: something beautiful, special and valuable. By producing a limited edition of fine prints the artist has transformed negative experiences into precious objects that have become things of beauty and truth and are symbolic of the strength of survival. Each individual print is a part of a greater whole and reflects a step on the artist’s journey to healing and empowerment.”
Revealing Eyes (2018)
Pencil and black ink pen on watercolour paper
“This work is intended as an insight into the effects of mental health on the individual viewed through the eyes of the artist. It depicts the internal struggle to hide the overwhelming anxiety and pain and the hope that others don’t see the truth. When staring directly into the eyes, the viewer may feel some discomfort and struggle to continue to meet the gaze.”
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