I was born in London and have been creating art since childhood, winning art prizes at school. I enjoy the full process of creating, whether in painting, sculpture, dressmaking or gardening.
I wanted to make a career in art but my father said 'Get a Job.'
Bill on the Hill, Concrete sculpture
Rain Dance, Bronze
So by default I trained as a nurse and midwife, without regret, and in 1968 I emigrated to Australia.
Although I still enjoyed art it was put on hold when I married and had a family. In 1979 I returned to painting doing a course in tonal painting.
I completed a Diploma of Art and Design at Moorabbin TAFE in 1992 and was then accepted into RMIT where I completed a Bachelor of Fine Art Degree in 1995, majoring in Painting.
An Exhibition at the Warrnambool Art Gallery
Gillian Govan with her artwork titled MacDonnell Ranges, Alice Springs, Oil on Canvas
This training helped me to look at and understand the work of other artists, past and present and encouraged me to follow my instinct with my own work. During this formal education I discovered Sculpture and found it challenging and rewarding.
It is difficult to pin point specific influences, as my work is so diverse in subject matter and the mediums. I found both painting and sculpture useful tools to express my fears for the environment.
Cleaning a bronze sculpture
While my paintings are mainly oil and realistic I have diversified greatly in sculpture using a variety of mediums, and subjects and experimented with wood, stone and wire.
My sculpture really moved forward when I was asked to make some sculptures for a relative’s farm in North East Victoria. I made life size realistic figures in direct applied cement.
My subject matter then developed into semi realistic figures depicting human emotion, movement and life experiences. These figures I made with Cold Bronze (a mixture of bronze powder and resin). I am now enjoying expressing these in bronze.
I am also making similar figures using electric wires and plugs to express my thoughts on recycling. See 'Power of One'.
I have exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions and I have been fortunate to receive several awards for my work. Several galleries display my works.
I have been a member of The Association of Sculptors Victoria for 20 years and a long term committee member. I was also President for 10 years. I have been coordinator of our Annual Awards Exhibition for many years and manage activities for the Association.
I paint in a studio, and at home and make sculptures in my shed and in a huge shed on a farm in a beautiful inspiring part of country Victoria.
My passion for making art does not always reap rewards but gives a wonderful inner satisfaction.
I feel greatly honoured to have received the Award as the VAS Summer Exhibition Sculpture Winner 2024 at the Victorian Artists Society.
Bracing the Elements, Cold Bronze
We would like to pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land on which our building stands, their leaders, past, present and emerging.