TomboyBill | Bio



TomboyBill reflects on life after taking a leap of faith from the comfortable life of

a commercial artist, to the uneasy, introspective life of the fine artist.

‘Living as a fine artist is proving to be quite a challenge. Finding the solitude,

stillness and detachment which is necessary for my work, can also leave me feeling

disconnected and cut off from the daily routine of the world. As challenging as this is,

I’m beginning to see that this is how it has to be, for my work to progress…”

And so it is in TomboyBill’s latest series of works offcut. which uses left over materials and offcuts that would otherwise have been discarded, to explore the meaning of a self-imposed physical and emotional detachment from the conventional norms of work and life.

In using materials for some greater purpose, we always leave something behind. These scraps are inevitably seen as waste, as not having any value. In fact, they are seen as an unavoidable cost. But the question is why? What happens if we challenge the nomological validity of this idea? What happens when we value the offcut, not just because it can be reused or repurposed, but because it is necessary for the greater purpose? In the same way, the artist’s detachment and discontent can be reappraised – not as being in conflict with monotony of the daily grind, but as being complementary and essential. Every action has a reaction. The artist needs to have a certain distance from the world in order to explore it, and in a sense we need the artist to feel – and be – disconnected so that we can be surprised and excited by a view of ourselves we’ve never seen before. The offcut, then becomes vital and necessary.

TomboyBill’s offcut. series challenges us to look at things differently. There is a sense of vulnerability and rawness throughout the artworks. We feel the artist’s personal journey.

This work goes beyond the idea of finding a hidden beauty and value in the unloved, discarded and the abandoned, instead arguing that these things have an innate, intrinsic value.


Dionne Chambers, artist name TomboyBill (b. 1972 Aust.)

Art Education

1989–92 NMIT, Diploma – Art/Graphic Design / Illustration

Employment/Industry Experience

2010–present Visual/Fine Artist

2000–2010 Senior Graphic Designer, Macmillan Publishers Australia

1993–1999 Illustrator/Graphic Designer, JM Artworks



Solo Shows

2016 Creatures of the Deep, 69 Smith St Gallery

2016 A Leap in the Deep, fortyfivedownstairs

2015 Creatures Within, Mario’s (cafe)

2015 Catty Bird Man, Red Gallery

2014 Untitled, APTE cafe/gallery

2013 Block Head, Sourdough Kitchen cafe/gallery

2012 Bird is the Word, APTE cafe/gallery

2012 Ethic cafe/gallery

Group Shows

2016 Linden New Art / Postcard Show

2016 Banyule Art Salon, Hatch Contemporary Arts Space

2015 The Beast Beside Us, Red Gallery

2015 Night Flight, Violet Town Art Show

2014 Succulents, Camberwell Art Show

2014 The Bald and the Beautiful, Women on Boards/Tap Gallery


© Copyright 2013 Bird's Gallery Melbourne - Contemporary Art Gallery, Fine Arts & Crafts