I’m driven by a desire to empower you with clarity and control so you can make an even greater impact on this world.
The story so far…
A lot can change in 10 years!
After a childhood moving around the country I chose Melbourne to live as an adult. Before making that decision, I was working in Sydney and ending up with Glandular Fever. It was then, that I realised there’s more to life than working your body to the ground. Being forced to stop and rest in order to recover really made me think about what I wanted my life to look like and why I had made the choices I’d made so far. I found that although I had a great job meeting exciting and successful people in the arts I, myself was board and listless. I wanted more from my job but I couldn’t figure out why and what that was.
Once recovered, I quickly decided I was moving to Melbourne to go to arts school. Knowing nothing about the Melbourne art schools and anything about the art scene in general, I went to Latrobe College to find my feet in this new city. I worked my little heart out and had a great time exploring ideas and challenging my preconceptions. As many people who have uprooted their lives and moved states with very little will know, it isn’t easy, it was a tough year. But by the end of it, I’d gotten into the Victorian College of the Arts (soon to be a part of Uni Melbourne) studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Sculpture and Spatial Practice.
After the excitement, stability, pressure and connection that art school provided I found myself with a sheer lack on direction and feeling isolated after finishing VCA in 2009. To combat this, I started an artist-run gallery and performance space with collaborator, Leo Kavanagh. I felt there was a lack of spaces that offered artists, specifically those without consistent incomes, an affordable space to show in. With window99 and Rollerdoor Performance Space we made sure the opportunities required as little financial investment as sustainably possible. Running the space from our home on the busy Brunswick Street in Fitzroy helped keep running costs down. This space provided a huge learning curve for both of us as well as a fantastic entrance into the artist-run world.
A year and a half on we decided to up the ante. We felt there was a need for a space that offered artists opportunities to experiment and test ideas that didn’t require a long lead time of proposals and again, offered flexible formats and durations so artists could show their work without exceeding their financial means. We moved three doors up Brunswick Street to start Conduit Arts Initiative. The space was bigger than our previous window gallery and garage space of course but was still modest. The gallery was one room, which allowed the art, performance or music being experienced to be the focus with minimal distractions. Once through Conduit’s white gallery space, there was a cosy kitchen and expansive courtyard. During the Conduit years (four in fact), Leo and I had our first child, completed an honours, got engaged, completed a Masters, got married, took a honeymoon to Tasmania for a month and then realised we needed more trees in our life - but more on that later.
During those four years, Conduit Arts Initiative went from strength to strength and demonstrated that an arts space with a focus on self-sustainability and a 'profits to the artists' model could succeed. We had an active and supportive community that built up around us and together we experienced a plethora of innovative works and performances.
Whilst running Conduit Arts Initiative, I completed a Masters of Arts and Cultural Management and a thesis entitled, The Shifting Platform, the level of experimentation and innovation in the business and programming structure of selected ARIs in Melbourne between 1979 and 2014.
During the first arts residency we had at the newly opened Conduit Arts Initiative I gave birth to our son, Arve. We made it back in time for the opening of the exhibition where our three day old got to meet a large portion of our supportive community.
The first year of the arts space and motherhood were a bit of a blur as it was a hit the ground running, sink or swim situation. We got through it though and progressed to the second year of both business and child and felt things slightly easing into a more palatable rhythm. We were doing it. We had a fantastic board working with us to book the programming and man the bar and our child was sleeping through the night (mostly).
After the second year both Leo and I felt a noticeable shift and felt we were no longer fighting to keep our heads above water but rather treading water nicely (in a way that you couldn’t continue to do for two more years but could maintain till waters got even calmer). This is when I felt like we were getting into our stride, the space had proved it was financially secure and wasn’t so needy anymore. A lot more Artists, Musicians and Performers were coming to us so programming got a lot easier to lock down. We were also starting to carve out our niche for experimental arts and performance and those wacky ideas that you could take risks on.
To my consulting practice, I bring my arts degree, Masters and five plus years of business and financial management. I am fully aware that being artists, entrepreneurs and small business owners can often lead to a personal sacrifice that unbalances your life and makes it difficult to feel in control of your direction and decision making. I have a passion to share my knowledge, systems and insights with my clients so they can feel a sense of empowerment over their lives and their businesses.
Running two not-for-profit art spaces tested me in every area of my life; self-management, time-management, confidence, motivation, prioritising, accountability and the ultimate task of managing people, their engagement and level of satisfaction. Apart from parenting I feel running your own business is one of the most challenging and rewarding things you can do in a career.
As a parent of a six and one year old, I am constantly juggling the needs of my businesses with the needs of my family and myself. Aspiring for a balanced life, where me as an individual, partner, parent and business owner is working in harmony is my, and many others', life challenge. Constantly reassessing these roles, expectation and my own expectations of myself enables me to stay open to the sliding scale of the needs of these roles. However open and considered I am about these roles, an equilibrium, if ever to be reached, will only be for a moment. This is what keeps life entertaining though and constantly challenges me to grow and push through each road block.
I’d love to put my passion into practice with your business so you can have the clarity, control and security you desire in your life.