Wendy Binks - Stunned Emu Designs
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About Wendy



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Wendy visiting a school

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 enabled her to extend her range even further and to display more of her original artwork including seascapes and landscapes. This was closed in early 2017, allowing Wendy more time to for other creative and adventurous pursuits.

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 two more books starring Stripey: ‘Scrambled egg’ which was shortlisted for the WA Premier's Awards and ‘Invisible Me’. 'Where's Stripey?' has become a best-seller, having sold over 100,000 copies.

Stripey has since featured in many excellent productions and creative endeavours:

'Invisible Me' was made into 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. They also performed at the Melbourne's Children's Festival.

'Where's Stripey?' has 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.

Stripey starred in a major theatre procuction called: 'Stripey, the eggsellent adventures of an emu chick' which ran for 3 months on the East coast of Australia in 2015.

He and other characters from Wendy's books are printed larger than life on the walls of the Paediatric ward of Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth, Western Australia. These almost 90 images were kindly financed by the Lions Club of Bullcreek.

Maxwell & Williams licensed a collection of mugs called 'Where's Stripey? all based on the books in 2016.

Wendy was commissioned to paint 9 large aluminium signs featuring Stripey and other emu characters in the quaint bush town of Dwellingup, just South of Perth, WA. These signs are part of the The Forest Discovery Centre 'EMU TRAIL' which was opened by the Western Australian Premier Mr Mark McGowan in 2017.

Other books: Wendy has illustrated 2 books for Scholastic Australia: '10 Clumsy emus' and also 'Hush, little possum', which comes with a CD of fabulous actor/singer Debra Mailman singing the lullaby.

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, mountain biking, rogaining 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. Recently she completed the 1000km Munda Biddi mountain bike trail from Albany to Perth, WA, (solo) and the Coast to Coast walk across England.

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 also a licensed venomous snake relocator, volunteering for 'WILDCARE' . She has been actively involved in the ongoing work of 'PROJECT NUMBAT' who are striving to save the endangered numbat, which is Western Australia's fauna emblem. Wendy has also spent much time in remote areas near Esperance and Albany (South Western Australia), surveying and monitoring Western ground parrot numbers.

To raise awareness of their plight, Wendy introduced Toot, the Western ground parrot as a new character to feature alongside Stripey in 'Invisible Me'.

See: www.western-ground-parrot.org.au

Always ready for a challenge, Wendy designed and painted a lif-size fibreglass cow 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.

She also painted a lifesize kangaroo for 'Kanga Art'.

Wendy presents at schools and libraries and writers festivals across Australia and overseas, inspiring children and adults alike about books and wildlife.

She also runs workshops on how to be a successful self publisher, art demos at local Art Associations, and painting workshops for non-painters.

Wendy Binks

Wendy at work on the wheel

Western Ground Parrot

Wendy Binks

Wendy at work on the wheel

Western Ground Parrot

Wendy Binks

Wendy at work on the wheel

Western Ground Parrot

Wendy Binks

Wendy at work on the wheel

Wendy Binks

Wendy at work on the wheel

Wendy Binks

Wendy at work on the wheel

Wendy Binks

Wendy at work on the wheel

Wendy Binks

Wendy at work on the wheel

 

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