Bec Evans is one of 43 fine woodworkers who are showcased in the exhibition Making a Seat at the Table: Women Transform Woodworking. We conducted a brief interview via email to find out more about her work.
Why is this exhibition important to you?
It’s just wonderful! The exhibition came right as I move home to Australia and am about to go out on my own as a woodworker. The opening night was fantastic – I’m grateful to be at this point in my career and have had the opportunity to meet so many talented and inspiring women woodworkers and learn from their stories. The work is phenomenal to see in person and the varied engagement across craft, design and art demonstrates a breadth of approaches that I hadn’t been aware of. I came away with a new confidence that I do have a place in the world of woodworking and a new knowledge of the diverse paths there are to follow. I suspect I’m not unique in having felt like an outsider and my hope is the exhibition and Laura and Deirdre’s book spread inspiration and confidence widely.
What advice would you give your younger self about getting into woodworking?
To know that the path isn’t obvious and that you will need to continually work to make it happen. And that’s ok. Also don’t beat yourself up about not being able to do things well at first – no skills are innate. Skills need to be learnt, and that takes time! Finally, have confidence to try things, to get it wrong and trust that you can work your way through.
Which piece in the exhibition stood out the most to you?
I could list everything! The variance of intent and approach is a large part of what I found so inspiring. I was particularly awed by the carving and texture of Christina Madsen’s cabinet and the elegance of Heidi Earnshaw’s dresser.