Katie Kilgour -VISUAL ARTIST/DANCER
I grew up in Central NSW and enjoyed the freedom and adventure of a country upbringing. When I had children I knew I wanted them to enjoy a similar sense of space and freedom. I studied both Visual Arts and Education in Newcastle before traveling and eventually moving to Melbourne. I lived in Melbourne for four years where I taught English as a second language, performed sporadically and entertained my two young children. I never stopped creating throughout this time, I always had a sketchbook and little projects on the boil. I moved to Castlemaine in 2014 with my children Molly and Augs. I’d been looking for an interesting rural community close to my children’s father in Daylesford that wasn’t too far from the city.
Castlemaine has many of the opportunities you might find in the city but functions at a much slower pace. There is a lively arts scene, festivals, music, theatre, food, film and enough to keep young kids entertained; footy club, karate, dance schools, circus. Having kids at school allowed me to quickly establish a sense of community, which is helpful being a single parent. My children love it here and are so glad we don’t live in the city!
I am an illustrator and textile artist. For the past few years I’ve been making dolls from scraps of old Japanese textiles. Each doll has a unique story. I often carry them around with me as I make them and stitch in things I find along the way. I prefer the aesthetic of old worn objects and the challenge of working with my sometimes limited resources. I’m always collecting things from friends, second hand shops, garage sales...some people might call it hoarding, I call it conservation.
The slower pace of Castlemaine has made me more productive and now that my kids are a bit older I have more time to create while they’re at school. I am still very involved in the Melbourne arts scene as part of the Boon Companion’s immersive theatre group. I’ve yet to exhibit my art in Melbourne but I’ve had a few interesting offers that I’ll continue to pursue...we’ll see what comes of it!
My long term dream is to build a house on a few acres in the Goldfields area. But for now I’m going to learn as much as I can through helping with other people’s building projects. My good friends are building a bit of a sustainability hub at Yapeen. The vision for their farm ‘Vashana’; looks like the perfect place to learn a few things.
My favourite places in the area: Origini in Castlemaine for its friendly vibe, The Diggers Store in Campbell’s Creek (owners Alex and Tina are huge advocates for artists), Wesley Hill Market and the Reservior in Golden Point for fending off the heat. My favourite spot (thus far) for a magical bush stroll would have to be Dog Rocks at Mt. Alexander.