ABOUT KATH

Headwaters Of The Clarence River

Headwaters Of The Clarence River

All imagery on KOB Designs is copywrite to KMO’Brien. 

Please contact us @KOBDesigns.info to use these images

The McPherson Ranges, QLD, headwaters for the Clarence River NSW,

I live on the beautiful Far North Coast of NSW, Australia, I moved here from Sydney when I was 28 years old with 3 small children. I had a multitude of ideals, dreams and hopes but I soon discovered that the reality of country life was not like my fantasy world I had created.

My working background before children had offered me some fantastic experiences and I was privileged to work as an administrator within some major corporations at a time when gaining employment was a much simpler process than it is today.

I have always enjoyed photography however I never understood exactly what one can actually do with a camera, for me, photos were about good times shared with friends and containing the memories to share again some time, as I progressed to having my children it was almost like record keeping and the photo albums grew.

Over the years of my teens I developed my own artistic sense, I spent long hours drawing and later playing with words when I enrolled in a visual merchandising and display course with my local technical college. School art classes were a non event as they were competitive and seemed to be associated with cool kids with older siblings who had already done well in the course, my temperament and disgust at particular features of organisation and distinctions of these classes, left me less than excited at what I was offered as an individual student. I fought with my art teacher and spent time outside in the hallway due to my behaviour or my opposition to her traditional artistic beliefs.

Over the years I continued with my drawing and wordplay, and I found great comfort in working in my gardens in four different social housing homes I was privileged to live in, I designed and landscaped each garden and took great pride in my work. It was in 1996 that I began to do a ceramics course with TAFE in Grafton and this was where I discovered there was a great deal more to art than I was ever exposed to. I learnt about design, colour, perspective and how to manipulate substance and change chemical structure, these were enjoyable productive years. Much later I realised I was learning about Chemistry and Alchemy and that I had only had a glimpse of what I was doing at the time of being so involved in my art. I produced a lot of work and have lost a lot of my work in my travels and moving as well. Well all of it actually, but what is art if it is not used by other people at its eventual end.

In 2002, I changed my studies to natural resource management and gained my diploma in my field, while working with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, again however, art came into play, this time photography began to be used as evidence of land evaluations, it had a purpose. I also created a series of drawings for part of an assessment for animal taxonomy which was far beyond the scope of the initial purpose of the course but a most enjoyable exercise considering my background.

In 2003 I gave birth once again, at 36 years old within a new relationship, which found me also studying a diploma, and moving across state to Western Australia with 3 kids, a baby and a dog to support my new partners career choice as an Agricultural Resource Economist. It was here that I was offered the chance to see and photograph one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots for the Department of Environment and Conservation while working as a terrestrial ecologist, for Land for Wildlife. It was a great privilage, and I found it funny that I was working for an organisation called, when I first went there, CALM, I had previously been referred to as a temperamental redhead, with an anxiety disorder yet I had always considered myself as a mostly calm person. I also worked for the National Landcare program and the Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo Project through SWCC National Salinity Program and I also had the opportunity to teach ceramics at TAFE and that was a bonus I really enjoyed. WA truely was very good to me and my family.

Skip forward a few years and I moved back to NSW where I was again privileged to reside in the beautiful Dorrigo Plateau on the Great Dividing Range to right now where I am in the process of learning new skills and enhancing and upgrading older ones in the awesome and inspiring Clarence Valley. Sometimes life takes us back where we belong, back where we were creating a home.

I am very interested in New Media and technology, and I have studied administration programming and accounting but my true purpose in life lies in the ecological processes defined and undefined, and the human evolutionary impact caused by industrialisation and disorganised urbanisation and regionalisation on the human psych. I am a terrestrial ecologist in my heart with a great interest in our Agricultural sector and maintaining our countries viability in Primary and Secondary Industry.

Creating societies without thought for the social impact seems like a mismanagement of our species and the flow on effect is that we live with inequality and communities that are then refered to as “certain elements” which are detrimental to the whole. At a greater level within the human food chain we can then say that this is where the echelons begin, this is where the separation of our species starts taking place and where the breeding of resentment grows. My questioning goes along the lines of “is it really necessary?” This is because the answers to social injustice seem to be easy to me, you just create new communities that exist with myriad opportunities for the human counterparts to grow and live in while maintaining the integrity of the built and natural environments by creating PLACE.

On my days off and during holiday periods I get out to the awesome and inspiring National Park treasures that Australia has to offer to photograph and describe each experience with fresh eyes and the knowing that each day is a new day, each moment is the only moment and that the present is a gift worth receiving and of course sharing.

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