First Life 1 - Amanda Wright
First Life 1, Amanda Wright
Acrylic on Canvas, 62x77 cm
Amanda Wright is a Palawa artist whose family, on her mother’s side, is from Bruny Island, Tasmania. Amanda grew up and went to school in Boronia, before doing a Fine Arts degree at RMIT. Amanda comes from a family of artists, including her mother, her maternal grandfather, Amanda’s sister, and her mother’s cousin. When Amanda was three or four she recalls her uncle painting, and at that moment she decided that painting was for her. She has been painting ever since.
Amanda sees her practice as being linked to her state of mind, and represented by stages throughout her artistic life. At university she used a palette knife composing full-length bodies on large canvases. Now her work is focused on tenderly conceived portraits of Aboriginal people that give a window into the subjects’ spiritual and emotional worlds.
Amanda doesn’t always know who the people are that emerge in her compositions. The current period of prolific painting she believes was triggered by a family reunion where she learnt more about her family and began researching her family history. Amanda’s painting is inspired by her thoughts of her mother, grandmother and her great-grandmother, the circumstances they survived, their strength and their resilience.
Amanda says, ‘ I found family and now I’m trying to find spirit. I just have to paint every day. I have so many ideas. Painting is all I have ever known.’
Amanda also studied Visual Arts Education at Deakin University.