Nell Symonds

"Growing up in small towns in the most isolated state in Australia didn’t seem at the time to be a blessing. In my teenage years, I was sure it was a curse and I couldn’t wait to get out into the world.
I grew up in a town in the south-west with a population of a few thousand. Even now on a Sunday morning in summer, all you can hear is sprinklers and the odd lawnmower. Looking back though, I can see how much I learnt about the natural world but also about people. It’s a lot harder to be fake in a small town. Or to be a less than pleasant human.
I find in cities it is difficult to be calm. To be quiet inside, in your own mind. When I create, I need that calmness. The clear undisturbed thought. Then the magic flows somehow seamlessly off the brush.
In all my years of travel, I identified with the small rural places the most. I loved the odd quirks each village or town carried. The long-standing citizens, that become the town itself in a way. All of my paintings are named after places I travelled to and loved. On reflection, the majority of them are rural towns. I have come to accept and love that I like living in rural towns. I like to be in the bush, in a river or at the beach. I take my own child out and teach him how to whistle with a new gum leaf or how to look for water in the bush. I hope that one day he too appreciates a rural life."