Judy Warne


Judy was born in Charlton and grew up in the Victorian Mallee country, experiencing droughts and dust storms. She was aware of the duality of the country that could be so gentle, beautiful and fragile, and the harsh dry climate with its relentless heat and dust.

In this landscape stood the “Mallee Trees”, their huge roots hidden underground to preserve every drop of water. Somehow these trees represented her parents. Their stoic philosophy, creative solutions plus hard work complemented the landscape. Her parents, plus the land, ingrained in her a sense of fairness.

Judy married Keith Warne and moved to Western Victoria, where, in mid-life, she fulfilled her dream and completed a Fine Art Degree at Deakin University.

Did she change or did the world change?  Over time, she became more and more aware of injustice. Lewis Carroll’s amazing mind had always been of interest so Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass at that point became her inspiration.

Humpty Dumpty in his famous speech “... when I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less ...,” spelled out a purpose. It was not about the meaning of words, but control.

In 1990 she was invited to participate in the exhibition Alice 125, A Celebration in Melbourne’s City Square, curated by the Gryphon Gallery, University of Melbourne.

Her first major solo exhibition, The Divine Cow, at Australian Galleries in 1996 featured wire-framed, papier mache cows covered in current news stories resulting in ‘time capsule cows’. These newspaper clippings spoke of Mabo, the war in Ruwanda, media control and other topics of the day. The Nellie Castan Gallery in 2005 hosted the exhibition, Underland, which featured white rabbits representing the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Australia (referencing Alice in Wonderland).

In 2012 the exhibition White Silence was presented at the Bridget McDonnell Gallery in Hampton.  Then followed Others; still rabbits, not white and arrogant but small, vulnerable, clothed in hessian, some in unsafe boats and some pathetically holding sticks.

In 2013 her bronze Manrabbit became the masthead of the Toorak Village Sculpture Exhibition.

Judy’s most recent work features crows. Her work is intuitive and she follows her instincts. She is not sure what is happening – but