"I am greatly influenced by the strong women in my life, and the roles they play. Aboriginal culture is a matriarchal society, and I have such strong, resilient women in my life that I look up to." Amanda tells The Block Shop.
Artist Amanda Hinkelmann tells The Block Shop "I am a proud Wiradjuri woman"
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I am a proud Wiradjuri woman, born in Wagga Wagga on Wiradjuri Country. I have been fortunate enough to grow up with just enough country to connect with mother earth, and just enough city to connect with some incredible people. I am so lucky to still live in Wagga Wagga and am remarkably grateful for the life I get to live each day.
I grew up in a little suburb on the edge of Wagga Wagga. I am one of three sisters and they were my best friends growing up. We spent most of our days playing in a large eucalypt up the road where we had built a makeshift treehouse, fishing for tadpoles in an empty cul-de-sac or playing at friend’s houses.
In 2008, I completed a Bachelor of Education and taught for fourteen years, before finishing up to pursue art full-time. I am a mother of four and love the balance I have with work and family.
Amanda Hinkelmann was a very popular choice with the contestants this season, 'Wiraywinhangin Marramarra' Framed Art Print was featured in Rachel and Ryan's Guest Ensuite pulling together the earthy colours beautifully.
How long have you been producing your art?
I have always been creative and have always expressed myself creatively- whether it be through interior design, journaling or other creative means. I started painting more seriously in October of 2019, and then put more time into it thoughout 2020 and 2021.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
My art draws inspiration from three things- connection, country and experience. My connection, life on Wiradjuri Country and my experiences generally influence my art. The rich history of my country, and the way it was used pre-european settlement also reflects within my art. The more I learn about my culture, the more I incorporate this into my works.
I am also greatly influenced by the strong women in my life, and the roles they play. Aboriginal culture is a matriarchal society, and I have such strong, resilient women in my life that I look up to.
How would you describe your art?
I would describe my art as being textural, detailed, and dreamy. I aim to express the softness and beauty of my Aboriginal culture all while telling important stories. Others often describe my pieces as having a ‘movement’ to them, being fluid.
Favourite Block couple?
My all-time favourite Block couple is Andy and Deb. Deb seems like the most down-to-earth, kind lady. And Andy just adores her, we can all see that! I also loved Kirsty and Jesse in the 2021 season, absolute go-ers.
Are there any particular artists that inspire you?
I love the work of Julia Roche, another woman creating on Wiradjuri Country. I love her practice, and her intention within her pieces. The way they rely on mother earth to support their creation.
Where do you like to create your art?
I have a home studio where I work. It is one of my favourite places to be. We converted one of our living spaces into a studio so I could work from home. It gives me the freedom to plan my days better around family, and when I am done, I can just close the door. I also love creating on the road. We camp and travel a lot (a lot, a lot!) and I love taking photos and drone footage to keep as inspiration. I also take small unstretched canvases for studies so I can paint when we travel.
Artist Amanda Hinkelmann featured here with artwork "Dharrabu" tells The Block Shop "I have been fortunate enough to grow up with just enough country to connect with mother earth, and just enough city to connect with some incredible people"
Do you have a playlist / podcast you like to create to?
Anything Country! I love Luke Combes, ‘Uncle’ Alan Jackson and Brett Young. I am also listening at the moment to some amazing Indigenous artists- Barkaa is absolutely deadly as well as Emily Wurramara. Her song, ‘Black Smoke’ is just beautiful.
What does a typical day look like for you?
It always varies. Generally though, it is school drop-offs with a gym session either before or after. Then a good few hours of painting. I have an hour or so of admin somewhere within the day, and then more painting. I don’t really stop for lunch as I get in a flow and work through. I will often do a bit of work at night too. I wake up early, especially in the lead up to an exhibition and you will often find me in the art room anywhere from 3 or 4am with a documentary on and a paint brush in my hand.
How do you fit your art around life/kids?/work- Any tips?
I am lucky in that I do what I love and get to call it work. I left the workforce to be at home with my kids as they grew up- so I remind myself that when they are home, my time is focused on them. I use the time when the kids are at school or in bed to work, and the rest of the time, I put my energy into them, as much as I can.
My children are definitely my number one priority, and I want them to know that.
Favourite holiday destination?
This is a hard one! As I mentioned, we travel a lot. We love camping and are trying to see as much of Australia as we can. I love being out in nature and I love being on country. One of my favourite places in Australia (weird, I know!) is Jingellic. I feel very at peace there, along the mighty Murray.
My husband is German, so when we can travel again, we plan on heading back to Europe. I loved Poland and want to explore Eastern Europe a little more if I can.
Hardest person to buy a gift for?
My dear old Dad! Gosh he is hard to buy for!! Usually I resort to scotch, a t-shirt or a Bunnings gift voucher.
What would you buy yourself from The Block Shop?
I would probably buy a new bedroom suite for my eldest son. He is hitting the teenage years and a nice bedroom makeover would be lovely for him.
Favourite house decorating trend?
I don’t really follow trends and try to make my house a place of tranquillity and peace. In saying this, I think you can’t go past a raked ceiling, nice big skylights and lots of big, beautiful windows. I love natural materials and I love repurposing things. Organic, textural materials for me are simply heaven.
Most decadent thing in your house?
I love spoiling myself with candles from ‘Little Black Duck’. I also invest in meaningful original art and have a few commissioned pieces I have purchased.
Oldest and/or daggiest thing you have in your house that should be thrown out but you just can’t bring yourself to?
Remember the dark frosted glass coffee cups from the 90s? My dad used to drink from these religiously when we were kids. My sisters found them in an op shop and bough one for each of our houses so dad would have one whenever he visited. I haven’t chucked it yet, although it does sit at the top of the cupboard.
Favourite room in the house?
Definitely the artroom and my bedroom.
If you could renovate one room in your house which would it be?
Probably the living space. When we built, we had to make choices on budget, and I went without things because we couldn’t afford them. I would love to make some changes to the space!
Have you built your own house?
Yes, we worked with a builder for our last house and have been here now for four years. We are doing the backyard at the moment and really enjoying completing that.
Favourite decor item in the house?
All of the special things we have collected from our travel- the banksia pods we collect when we go to the coast, the seahorse we found washed up on the shore. I love the dried thistle bouquet my husband and I picked from the side of the road, the bespoke pottery I have been gifted. These are all memories to me and it makes my house a home. A curated collection of love!
Favourite artwork you own?
Janine Riches painted a commissioned piece for me. It would be my all-time favourite.
Most treasured possession (other than kids or partner!)
My camera and drone. They are with me wherever we go and I am able to document so much with them. From the kids finding new things, to the beautiful landscapes we are blessed with.
Know anyone else who hasn’t been featured on The Block but should be?
Julia Roche!!! Check her out.
A perfect Sunday afternoon would be….
A good meal, a fire pit and a glass of wine- heaven!
Take a moment to look at Amanda's Artworks here on The Block Shop, we can see these in a "Tree Change" house at The Block, wink wink.