Amanda Western is a Ballarat linocut artist who creates large-scale, primarily monochrome, detailed prints.
Amanda and her tightknit family have spent the past 25 years living and working across different communities, including Badu Island in the Torres Strait, Narrandera in Central NSW and Bookpurnong in South Australia. She and her husband, Jon, have raised five children and in the early 2000’s established a vineyard near Stawell in Central Victoria. During this time Amanda was the Executive Officer for The Stawell Gift, followed by several years as the Project Manager for the development of the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory. Designed to host dark matter detection experiments, the lab has been built 1km deep within the Stawell goldmine. Living now in Ballarat, she has more recently worked in the emergency recovery field supporting communities following major natural disasters such as fires, floods and storms.
Coming to art in her middle-age was not something on the radar for Amanda. Having worked long hours in stressful management positions, whilst raising three young boys, left her mentally exhausted. In an effort to reboot, Amanda took some time off work and took on to a Certificate III in Visual Arts as a therapeutic measure. Never did she imagine it would change her life. When introduced to printmaking, Amanda instantly found a deep joy in the process of carving the lino. With a natural affinity for printmaking, Amanda enjoys working in reverse and with the mirror image. She finds the artwork process initially mentally challenging as she develops the design and then deeply meditative as she carves, allowing instinctive mark-making to take over.
In readying for her inaugural solo exhibition at the Old Butchers Shop Gallery in November, Jon and Amanda ventured into the framing business, purchasing up-to-date equipment, and setting up a framing studio. Jon, having never framed a picture previously, has thrown himself into the challenge and meticulously framed each piece of Amanda’s artwork for this exhibition. Amanda is very grateful for the overwhelming support, both emotional and practical, she has received from her family to enable this major career change. She also credits the support of other artists across Victoria who have been very generous with their time, ideas, and encouragement as she emerges into the art scene.