THIS IS EDEN... with Phill Small of Phill Small Photography

THIS IS EDEN... with Phill Small of Phill Small Photography

How long have you lived/worked in Eden?

My first visit to Eden and surrounds was in 2006 when I immediately fell in love and became utterly captivated. I holidayed and visited as often as possible over the next four years and was finally able to move in 2010. It took another five years of working in Canberra (driving up that "bloody mountain" twice a week) in senior IT sales and management roles, before I had the opportunity to both live and work here full time.

What do you like most about your job?

People. The connection and engagement with people I've met via my tours or customers who have purchased my art. I now have friends literally from around the world with whom I regularly chat. My work sells across Australia and collectors have such personal, intimate stories as to what my images mean to them. It's a revelation to me each time someone shares a story.

What do you like least about your job?

I get terribly anxious as to how my work will be received. It's deeply personal to me, I have to stand back a little and just let the work flow. This is the most beautiful coastline in Australia and in sharing her natural beauty via my work, I feel a crushing responsibility to get it right, something I have not as yet truly achieved.

What's your favourite place in Eden and/or the Bega Valley?

There is a spot high on a cliff overlooking Barmouth Beach I can sit for hours. It's an ancient and very sacred land and I can imagine the whispers of the elders taking me back in time.

If you won $1miillion what would you do first?

I'd like to establish a working gallery and mentoring program for youth, not just for art, but holistically, helping them learn they truly can be whatever they wish to be. Buddha's words, "You are and can be that whichever you want to be" have great meaning for me.

What is one thing you cannot live without?

I can't choose just one thing. My two dogs, their purity and simplicity ... oh and of course, my wife.

What are three words that describe Eden best?

Ancient, expansive, peaceful.

What do you think Eden needs the most as a community?

We are doing well on so many fronts. I would however like us to be even more embracing of the new: new residents, new ideas, new concepts. Whether we have lived here for 100 years or for one, we are all locals, and there are many very knowledgeable people with so much to offer the community. It takes a high level of emotional maturity to embrace change sometimes, but we must collectively challenge ourselves to be open to that which is new and different.

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