Artist and Mother of Six Gemma Lynch-Memory
by Stephanie Williams
Gemma Lynch-Memory has just opened her 33rd solo art exhibition, as well as a brand new gallery space as a joint venture with her husband Terry Memory with whom she has six kids.
Where in Hobart do you live? I live about 40kms out of Hobart on a beautiful property in the Huon Valley with my husband Terry and our family.
What’s the best thing about Hobart? The scale. Having lived in bigger cities before and moving here 12 or so years ago, the novelty of that small town feeling has not yet worn off.
And the worst? The very savvy Parking Fine Officers.
Tell us a little about your work? I’m a professional artist. Having had a paint brush in my hand since I was about four years old, I have always painted – through my school days, unidays (I have a Bachelor of Visual Arts with a Painting Major and a Masters of Art Admin), through all of my pregnancies, through all of my other business ventures and non stop during the slower pace of life that Covid 19 has been responsible for.
Your new exhibition Continuum is now open at The TAG Art Gallery, your new gallery! What can people expect? Continuum is my 33rd solo exhibition. It’s a slight departure from my abstract landscapes. It’s leaning towards more pure abstraction but still employs my usual thick impasto painterly technique, mark making and infusion of text and is in a high key colour palette. The gallery itself has been in our pipeline for many years. The time just felt right to open it now. We are excited about bringing something fresh, new and exciting to Hobart with this beautiful space.
You have six children. What does home life look like for you? In a word, full!! Having six children sounds daunting and probably would be if we were delivered six all at once, but it’s the ‘slow build’ that makes it doable. They are all fairly close in age but we still had time to get our heads around having one, having two, having three etc before having another one. We have been blessed to have three boys and three girls who all adore each other so there is a natural harmony that comes from this.
How did you end up in Tassie? How long have you been here for? Our family was involved in the Black Saturday bush fires in 2009. We were living in the Yarra Valley in Victoria when we had to evacuate for several weeks. We returned to my parents house (and my childhood home) in Bathurst, NSW on the evening of 7th February with five young children, a trailer load full of chickens and rabbits and a few essential items. This was a very stressful and exhausting time so my Mum insisted that she took care of our children and sent Terry and I away for a weekend for some much needed R&R. We booked a flight to Tasmania for what was supposed to be one weekend. We fell in love with this beautiful part of the world, saw a real estate agent, found our farm with an old barn on it, made an offer on the property, offer accepted, settlement in July, totally packed up and relocated by October. Our sixth baby (and my sixth caesar) was born in 2011 about 18 months after we settled here. We all 100% love it here and have never looked back.
What do you love doing outside work? Most of all, I love being with Terry and our children. We have a lot of fun together no matter what we are doing. I love working on my amazing succulent collection. I bought one succulent after watching my daughters obsession with them, and I now have over 400. I love spending time in my home, which is an old barn that Terry and I renovated. I am a keen gardener and love being in our garden. We were on a mission to be self-sufficient when we first moved to Tasmania so we built a 200 square metre hot house and now grow about 70% of what we eat.
Where’s your favourite Hobart eatery? Kalbi in North Hobart. This little place is a true gem in the food scene in Hobart and I truly recommend trying their wonderful cuisine if you haven’t already done so.
What do you never leave home without? I am an R.M. Williams junkie. I have the same RM belt that I bought about 20 years ago and I’ve been wearing it almost every day since. I also have a boot fetish so it is usually my favourite pair of R.M.Williams boots.
Favourite Hobart secret? Deja Vu Books in Salamanca Arts Centre. I love to see businesses built on pure passion and wonderful old world charm.
Where to next? As always when starting a new business, it is one day at a time. The TAG Art Gallery will occupy a lot of my focus in the short term whilst we develop the exhibition program and our connection to art lovers.