“I am Gina Simon Varagnolo. I live in Taree.
Art is my thinking time about my life experiences. I grew up around Maitland and Newcastle. Me, my partner and 3 sons moved to Taree in 2001.
I started doing Aboriginal art at Taree and Great Lakes TAFE in 2002.
Russell Saunders was one of my art teachers. I learnt a lot from Russell and teachers from Taree and Great Lakes TAFE. They have inspired me to keep up with my paintings.
In 2009 I spent a week as Artist in Residence at the Manning Regional Art Gallery. While there, painting and talking to art gallery goers, I sold works and gained commissions for further works.
I also won a Gilli Award in Sydney 2009 with seven on the 12 categories won by North Coast TAFE nominees. The purpose of the award is to celebrate and recognise the achievements of Aboriginal TAFE NSW Staff and students who have contributed to their communities through training and education.
I completed my Diploma in Fine Art at Great Lakes Campus and Taree TAFE.
In 2010 I won the Wollotuka Acquisitive Art Prize held at the NewcastleUniversity.”