Wendy Binks - Stunned Emu Designs
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Wendy Binks

Wendy at work on the wheel

Western Ground Parrot

Wendy grew up on a dairy farm in the beautiful town of Denmark, South Western Australia and from an early age developed a keen interest in animals and the outdoors. 

After her graduation with a BA in Art & Design from Curtin University in 1982 (majoring in ceramics), Wendy based herself and her business ‘Stunned Emu Designs’ in Fremantle, Western Australia. Initially she produced handmade and handpainted pottery, combining her interest in Australian wildlife with her art. She became well known for her brightly coloured terracotta pieces and quirky characters, particularly her trademark ‘emu with attitude’. Since opening a shop in the historic Fremantle Markets in 1995, Wendy has developed and extended her range of products to include mugs, stationery, books, prints, bags and her much sought after original paintings. Early in 2010, Wendy opened her own Gallery in South Terrace, Fremantle which has enabled her to extend her range even further and to display more of her original artwork including seascapes and landscapes.

Her humorous designs are popular with all age groups, but particularly with children. The enthusiasm of children for her designs prompted Wendy to write her first children’s picture book, ‘Where’s Stripey?’ with ‘Stripey’ a baby emu as the main character. Having written, illustrated and self published the book to great acclaim, it won two awards including the prestigious 'Western Australia Premier’s Book Award', Children’s Section. Stripey was such a popular character that as well as producing a Stripey plush toy, Wendy produced another book ‘Scrambled egg’ again featuring Stripey on another adventure. This book was shortlisted for the WA Premier's awards. Children and adults alike eagerly awaited the third Stripey book ‘Invisible Me’ which was finally published in October 2011.And such is his fame, he has featured in a classical music production in the QPAC "Out of the Box" children's festival in Brisbane in June 2012 with the fabulous Southern Cross Soloists. 'Where's Stripey?' has also been read on TV by actor Shane Jacobson ('Kenny' fame) for the BBC CBeebies channel, and by West Coast Eagles footballer Lee Schofield for the WA State Library's Better Beginnings program for literacy. Wendy's next book, due out in 2013, will be a collaboration with author and poet AJ Betts, and will be about Russell the numbat.

Wendy is an avid outdoor enthusiast, and has been actively involved in many adventurous activities during her lifetime. These have included rock climbing, scuba diving, cave diving, trekking and kayaking. Much of her inspiration for her artwork and stories have come whilst she is undertaking extreme solo walks such as her trek of the Larapinta Trail and her solo wilderness walk across the Australian Alps. She has travelled worldwide and in the last 18 months has spent time in Kakadu Nat Park, Kenya, Tasmania, Bali and the South Island of New Zealand, all providing her with inspiration for her artwork.

Wendy has combined her love of the natural world with an interest in conservation and has been a volunteer on several conservation projects. She is actively involved in the ongoing work to save the endangered Western Ground Parrot and has spent time in Esperance and Albany (South Western Australia), surveying and monitoring their numbers.
See: www.western-ground-parrot.org.au To raise awareness of their plight, Wendy has introduced Toot, the western ground parrot  as a new character to feature alongside Stripey on his next adventure in  ‘Invisible Me’.

Always ready for a challenge, Wendy’s largest piece of artwork to date was her life size cow she designed and painted for The Margaret River Cow Parade in 2010. Wendy’s cow ‘We didn’t do it’, showcasing her quirky emus was one of 87 painted by different artists and exhibited for 4 months in the Busselton, Margaret River and Augusta regions. At auction, Wendy’s cow sold for the highest amount of $18,000 and the proceeds went to cave conservation in the Margaret River region. See www.cowparade.com Wendy now has miniatures of this cow available for sale online and in her stores.

Packed for the wilderness walk Wilderness walk
Western Ground Parrot
  Painted cow

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