HIGH-TECH ARTIST: Judy Barrass using a tiny video camera to make her art
HIGH-TECH ARTIST: Judy Barrass using a tiny video camera to make her art

Tech buff connected to the creativity of planet earth

AS A young journalist at the Canberra Times, Judy Barrass was writing stories on a manual typewriter.

These days, she's learning computer coding and is off to a robotics class.

Judy is not a computer nerd - she is a creative artist using technology to expand the frontiers of her art and her mind.

In her Sunshine Coast studio, the 65-year-old connects to the world of ideas and shares her own creativity around the planet.

Judy sees no start or finish to her exploration into the far realms of technology.

"I was an early adopter of anything and everything," she said.

The manual typewriter she once used eventually morphed into the much lauded Commodore 32 followed by Commodore 64.

Before too long, Judy and her husband Jim were giving adult computer classes in the 70s.

"I've always been a tech buff - I remember when I first received a hand-held calculator - it was exciting."

In 2006, Judy entered the virtual world and set up an avatar.

In the virtual world, she was able to pursue her passion for creative construction and was delighted it didn't take up any physical area.

Among other things, in virtual reality she set up a garden centre and sold her landscaping creations - waterfalls, rivers, plants.

"For a while it was quite lucrative," she said.

"The freedom to be and do in the virtual world is what its all about.

"If you want to set up an art gallery you can, if you want to change the show it's no problem.

"You can live wherever you like - if you want to build a waterfront house you can, if you want to live in a tenement in New York you can."

An American benefactor liked Judy's online construction so much he funded a project that saw her guiding a group of Caloundra school children through the process of creating virtual gardens.

The benefactor also supports children's cancer hospital in the States and so the students' virtual garden went on to be as a visual feelgood therapy in the hospitals.

Judy's tech journey is fluid and continuous - since her foray into the virtual world she has branched off into other areas.

Her studio is full of the latest components that hold the potential of adding other dimensions to her cutting-edge work.

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