comes from a small town in East Gippsland, Victoria, Australia.
She is currently living in a small village in north Wales.
Veronica completed a degree in printmaking and a postgraduate in weaving at the Institute of the Arts, Australian National University in the early 1990's. She employs drawing, printmaking, weaving and references to language in her works.
On leaving university Veronica worked as a community artist in the Australian Capital Territory with organisations such as Megalo Access Arts (open access printmaking), the Multicultural Arts, DADA (Disability and Disadvantage in the Arts) and Art Monthly Australia. In 2002 she moved to Halls Creek in the Kimberleys, Western Australia to work in the Kimberley Language Resource Centre and write Art Notes for Art Monthly Australia. She headed to Alice Springs to manage an arts disability project Mapping New Territory and then to run Jukurrpa Arts Centre (an Aboriginal women's art centre).
Since 2004 she has been living between Wales and Australia, completing artist residencies - Parliament House (ACT), Thirning Villa (Sydney), The Regional Print Centre (Wales), Weaving in Norway, Grindells Hut (Flinders Ranges SA), Cill Railaig (Ireland) and exhibiting in Japan, China, Korea, Turkey, Wales, England, Ireland, Spain and Australia.
Veronica last year received an A level in Welsh and has recently opened Stiwdiomaelor,
an artists' retreat in the north of Wales, which seeks to be self-funding and non-profit.
is the work Veronica is including in the Personal Histories exhibition.
This work has been completed in response to a sentence in Vanishing Voices (Nettle Romaine, pgs 178-9): "Grammars and dictionaries are artificial environments for languages. They reflect only a fraction of the diversity of a language in its everyday use and cannot capture the ever-changing nature of language."
I decided to make a Kurnai Welsh dictionary to signify the loss of meaning, history, memory, knowledge and growth that occurs when a language becomes extinct or is rarely used. In choosing the Welsh words to go with the Kurnai I didn't know if they had the same exact meaning as I have no context for the words. With the visual images I didn't want them to be a direct representation of words, as I wanted to refer to the early use of images by colonists in Australia.
When Australia was first settled, posters were attached to the trees for the Aboriginals with images setting out the laws of the white man, but of course the Aboriginals could not read the visual images as they were white man's images, not Aboriginal. So the images in the dictionary are my visual translation of the words. In the recording I wanted the Kurnai words to be recorded with a Welsh accent, because the sound of a language is important and something that is also lost in the ending of a language.
ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT OF THE ARTIST - VERONICA CALARCO
The work is presented in a book format with a recording of the words by Alison Woodbridge (Welsh language tutor in the Dolgellau area). A series of woodcuts are being made to go with the book.