Penny Carey Wells has worked as a paper and book artist in Tasmania since the early 80s and taught at the School of Art, University of Tasmania, from 1985-1997. She is currently employed part time at the State Library of Tasmania as a technician in paper conservation and exhibition officer.


Scotland has always been considered my family’s homeland although the most recent immigrant in our family was my paternal grandmother who made the journey as a young bride in 1906. I have inherited many Scottish traits including desperate superstitions which I am forever trying to control.

The Wilson family of the Steppes who emigrated from the Scottish highlands to the rugged central highlands of Tasmania lived their isolated lives in remarkable ways. They corresponded with governors, naturalists, explorers, artists and writers. They contributed with their work to the increasing awareness of the importance of preserving the natural world.

The image for my work uses handwriting from the manuscripts of Mary Wilson and a leaf sample taken from the stately Manna Gums which surround the Wilson home and are a dominant feature of the forest landscape that Madge Wilson so greatly revered.

Penny Carey Wells 2002