Spotlight on a local artist – Lori Pensini

This week we talk to Lori Pensini, who is an awarded artist living and working in Boyup Brook, near Collie, Western Australia.

Lori began her career as a professional artist in her early 20s while living in the Pilbara with her husband on a remote cattle station. Concerned by Lori’s isolation, her aunty sent her some sketchbooks, instructing her to take time for herself and she has been sketching and painting ever since.

The first gallery she ever set foot in would be the venue of her first solo exhibition, the Pilbara Fine Arts Gallery in Karratha, Western Australia, in 1995.

“This was quite frightening for someone who had never been a part of the arts, to exhibit for the first time,” Lori said.

Fast forward a few years, and Lori is represented by galleries in the Eastern States and South Australia.

Her works are held in both corporate and private collections around the world and published in several journals. She was a semi-finalist in the Doug Moran Portrait Prize and won the Cossack Art Prize in 2014.

Lori draws inspiration from her observations of life and she says that understanding who you are and what you believe in are vital ingredients for success.

We asked Lori why art is important for the community.

“Most people in small communities don’t have the opportunity to explore other cultures and get to have a wider view of the world,” said Lori.

“Art gives that opportunity – it’s like a history of humanity, a visual interpretation of the past exploring the present and stepping into the future.”

“Art gives people wider acceptance and tolerance of other cultures and the world as a whole. On an individual level, it can be through self expression, from what you wear, to the colour of your hair. All of this creates conversation and this means less ignorance and the opportunity to explore cultures and people without having the means to go abroad.”

“The Collie Art Gallery will be fantastic; there aren’t many opportunities to go and view a show,” she said. “It’s great to have something that not only brings the world to your doorstep, but creates on a local level and opportunity to share the local opportunities with the world.”

Lori’s family will vouch that she does get very frustrated if she can’t paint every day. She struggles with the idea of not painting.

Painting is something that she loves and remains passionate about; spending 10 hours a day in her studio. She plans to keep her artistic career going indefinitely.