Artist Spotlight: Anne Molony

Anne studied Fine Art at the National Art School in East Sydney from 1968 to 1972 and had her first exhibition of paintings at the Victorian Artist’s Society Gallery in Melbourne in 1973. She then went on to teach Art at Lalor tech.

Anne travelled extensively and lived outside Australia from 1974 until the late 1980’s. Starting her travels from Darwin, she flew to Bacau in then East Timor on a TAA flight that cost only $42. She then hitched across Timor to Kupang, island hopped by ferry to Bali and onwards, working while she could along the way, travelling alone and on the cheap.

Anne spent a few months in Jogjakarta studying Batik with an Indonesian artist, learning to draw with boiling wax, a djanting (a little Javanese tool) and the wonderfully coloured dyes.

After spending time in India where she developed her love of bright colour, intricate design and spicy food, Anne went on to live and work in Pakistan. She lived in Peshawar in northern Pakistan for some years teaching English. With her then partner, she collected many handicrafts and handmade carpets which they later imported in large quantities to Australia and sold in their two Melbourne city shops.

Quickly growing sick of being a shopkeeper, Anne returned to Pakistan in 1980 and walked with Ashraf Aman, the first Pakistani to climb K2. They walked from Hunza in far north Pakistan, near the Chinese border, to the Afghani border near Chitral. This journey took over two months and Anne reminisces that it is “the most amazing experience of my life so far”. She describes Pakistan as “medieval at the time but the high country was enchanting”. They met and stayed with different tribes of people in each valley; Kirgi people, nomads that travelled with sheep and camels, sleeping in tents made of camel hide, and Kafirs (non-believers), animists who worshipped trees, rocks an the spirits of the land, living jut across the Pakistani border in Kafiristan.

Anne returned to Australia briefly and was off again to Tokyo for a couple of years teaching English and studying Japanese printmaking and culture. Next she travelled to Hong Kong to work as a journalist on a local magazine for a couple of years. She returned to work in Melbourne in 1986 when her mother was dying, but was soon off to Europe for a year, then Thailand for some months to recover from the European air.

Returning to Australia once again in 1989, Anne decided to move to the country with her new partner, settling in a property at Carapooee near St. Arnaud. Apart from one trip to Southern India, Anne has stayed there ever since.

Anne taught Art and English intermittently over the years. In the early 90s she discovered Mac computers and became involved in digital art and graphics. This led to six years work as a graphic and website designer for a Canberra web developer, Preventative Solutions.

In the early 2000s, Anne worked as an artist and website designer for a La Trobe University, Bendigo, in a multi-media project “Small Towns Big Picture” involving a variety of artists, writers and musicians. This work involved mapping facilities, clubs and community groups and learning local stories in a number of small towns; Wedderburn, Dunolly, Maldon, Talbot and Carisbrook. Concerts were held in each town, CDs produced by the musicians anda video produced by Phillip Ashton, a filmmaker from Dunolly – Anne’s website enabled people to access all their local groups online with photos and local artworks.

Anne exhibited her digital photographs in St. Arnaud, VIC in 2000, at the Portland Arts Centre in 2001 and in a group exhibition at Ararat Art Gallery in 2003.

Most recently Anne had a solo exhibition in 2014 of paintings at the Portland Arts Centre.

Anne is currently retired from paid work and lives on the farm in Carapooee by herself. She does TM meditation twice a day and has started doing yoga. Anne spends her days walking, painting, taking photographs and tending her property – including her animals in this dry land in the midst of a climate emergency.

Anne has had a rich, colourful, adventurous life that is reflected in her captivating works.

View works by Anne Molony