A Snake at My Feet - Solo Exhibition - The Convent Gallery, Daylesford.



‘One summer when I was about nine or ten years old, while picking blackberries in a dry paddock on the fringe of Melbourne’s semi-rural outer suburbs, as I reached for berries I noticed a reptile had gently come to rest on my bare sandaled foot. At first I thought it was a lizard. We’d had blue-tongued lizards often come into our backyard and had tried to make pets of them. So my first reaction was to reach down and try to pick it up. But I hesitated. I couldn’t make out lizard feet as I peered down through the bramble maze. Maybe it was a snake. It was already resting against my foot so I kept still and watched to see what it would do. I became fascinated by the look of the scales and their bronze sheen in the sun, the spiraling pattern they made encasing the body. Before I knew it the moment was over, it moved on, slithering away as snakes do, probably having gained enough warmth from my foot.’

This was one of my earliest realisations that I was more interested in the appearance of things than the average person. It was almost like the fascination of the pattern of snake scales overwhelmed my natural instinct for fear and I felt thankful for being able to observe this creature so closely.