Shining Rainbow was born in Paddington, Sydney, in 1980, where she grew up amongst the bohemian culture of the Paddington Markets and the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras on Oxford St. Her favourite places were the shopfront of Sweet Arts cakes and Oxford Art Supplies store, which she would visit with her mother.

In 1991 she moved to the Illawarra with her father, after her parent’s divorce the previous year. In 1996 she enrolled in Fine Arts at West Wollongong TAFE, completing an Advanced Diploma in 1999 majoring in painting, under Paul Higgs, Jim Carrier and Elizabeth Cummings. As a student she was a finalist in the Waverley City Council Art Prize and the TAFE NSW Art and Design Prize.

In her early twenties, at the limit of a calamitous lifestyle, she began an extensive process of self-healing. The relationship between complexes of light and dark in the psyche became a central concern of Rainbow's work from this time onwards.

In her first solo exhibition “we are the magic dancing”, in 2002, conflicting layers of emotion and ideology can be seen spread across the walls – a hundred different techniques and approaches slammed together in an installation filling two rooms and over thirty linear metres of wall space.

Art writer, Gareth Jenkins, wrote in Sparks magazine “It is the depth of the work that strikes me first. A layered complexity leading away from clutter and towards freedom… Here is a real discovery of freedom.

Freedom, not external but internal, had come to be of the greatest importance. 

This was brought to bear two years later with the loss of life of her unborn child. This sacrifice impacted Rainbow with the knowledge of the true value of life and, accordingly, the meaning of love. From this point on, her life took on a different character. 

In 2004 she gave birth at home to her son, Caspian, and maintained devotion to him after the father’s desertion three years later. She travelled for extensive periods, savouring these early years with her child and her newfound sense of wellbeing. At this time she found the name Shining Rainbow – a name that carried the strength she had won for herself. 

Balancing child care with her creative life, she now had the wherewithal to pursue her professional practice with greater constancy. She participated in 15 exhibitions between the birth of her son and 2014, several of them major installations and three of them solo shows.

Her 2012 exhibition “saltgate of the dream” attracted the attention of the curator of Wollongong City Gallery, who invited her to participate in the “Local: current” exhibition the following year.

In 2014 Rainbow undertook a professional development course with painter Naomi Ullmann. Naomi emphasised traditional methods of painting with oils, influencing Rainbow to experiment with a variety of techniques, and so deepen her practice.

This year Rainbow received her first art prize – the Jayne Wilson Memorial Art Prize, for her painting entitled “divinity”.

 

 

 

 

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