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Arts Project Australia

Janet English Visits

Janet English sits with her bass guitar on her lap in the Arts Project Australia studio while artists draw her portrait.

Janet English visits Arts Project for portrait sitting

Arts Project was delighted to have beloved Oz music icon Janet English of Spiderbait and Happyland fame visit for a portrait sitting with our artists.

A regular visitor to the APA studio,  Janet shares how she came to discover APA and what keeps her coming back.


How did you find Arts Project Australia?

I heard some people in the radio talking about an amazing exhibition they’d seen and I checked out the website. I started following from afar for a while, watching all the great work when I saw an invitation for a workshop there [at the Collingwood Gallery]. So I signed up keen to come and be amongst such talented artists. It was really inspiring.


What do you love about visiting Arts Project Australia and what brings you back? 

The studio is such a joyous place to come into. It feels like a safe, welcoming, creative hotpot. I just love watching the different interpretations everyone brings to their work. The staff are so supportive and the artists’ dedication is so infectious.


We loved having you in the studio for the sitting, the artists had a great afternoon hanging out! Did you have any stand out moments from the day?

My sitting was a hoot. I got asked some curly questions and it was hard to stay in my pose when we all got chatting. I’ve been in life drawing classes at uni but I’ve never seen such great interaction with the model before. There were technical questions about my choice of guitar, favourite bands, knowledge of Scandinavian heavy metal, sock preferences, and mode of transport, just to name a few.


You’re well known for your music, what people might not know is you also enjoy making art. What similarities do visual art and music making have for you? 

Making art and making music are both such great creative, expressive outlets. I get a buzz when a song comes together from a spark of an idea. It can be so elusive sometimes and other times it just flows out. I think visual arts can give you that same buzz or it can punish you. The process of any creation is so exciting whether music or art.


You’ve been a great supporter of Arts Project since you discovered us, why do you think APA is important to the Australian arts sector? 

APA is such an important resource for the whole community. This is a space empowering people with disability to find expression and reach their creative goals.

It means that everyone can participate in the creative process equally and the greater community is richer through that participation.

Janet English with APA artists (left to right) Anthony Romagnano, Cathy Staughton, Samantha Ashdown, Rakhi James and Will Murray.
Janet English with APA artists (left to right) Anthony Romagnano, Cathy Staughton, Samantha Ashdown, Rakhi James.