About Lisa

Australian Artist

My Story

Lisa Dunbar Solas portrait

Born in Sydney, I moved to the Central Coast with my parents when I was just a year old. Our family home was located alongside a rainforest reserve. Living so close to the bush meant that I experienced Nature’s magic, mystery and intelligence first hand. From an early age, I associated Nature’s sentience with ‘the fairies’.

Meanwhile, reading myths, folktales and classics, such as Anne of Green Gables, was a favourite childhood pastime of mine (and still is!). These tales inspired me to pen my own stories. Soon I decided that I wanted to write and illustrate my own books. However, after a negative experience at age nine, I became convinced that I would never draw well (Luckily, some years later, a fairy showed me I could, in fact, draw).

Later, I studied archaeology and traced myths and legends through the Andean landscape. My PhD examined the relationship between Inkan myth, sacrifice and the ceremonial landscape. I completed fieldwork in regions, including Ocros, Ancash and Cusco.

While living in the Andes, my life was forever transformed. After the sudden passing of my mother, I gradually forgot how to play and nurture my inner child. Instead, I became a full-time worrywart, striving hard to become a serious young academic. As a result, I shelved my life-long vision of becoming an artist. As I traced ancient pathways in the Andes, I was reminded of how little and simple things, like a walk outdoors, can feed my heart and spirit. Then, one day in Cusco, I met a maestro from the Q’ero lineage who read my coca leaves. During this sacred experience, he urged me to tap into my creativity, of which he saw I had in abundance.

I returned home and started to listen to my body, which was begging me to slow down and deepen my connection with Mother Earth. As I followed this path, my creativity was reignited; I began to grow a garden, study aromatherapy, craft dolls and miniatures, write stories, draw and paint again. Around that time, I started working with children and founded a project called Ancient Explorer, which provides resources related to natural history and ancient history. This period of my life helped me rediscover several keys to my own happiness, while also unlocking my imagination.

Today, I am an independent mixed media artist and researcher living on the traditional lands of the Kaurna.

I believe we are all born creators. One important key to living an enchanted life is weaving curiosity, wonder and play into our everyday world.

Happy blessings to you,
Lisa.

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