Q&A with Wendy Dixon Whiley. WHEREABOUTS IN THE HILLS DO YOU CALL HOME? We live in Littlehampton and we moved there about 5 years ago. I grew up in the country, in the south- east near Coonawarra but moved to the city for uni. I lived in the city for around 14 years. I rented close to the city, and housing affordability being what it is I wanted to make the move to the hills when we bought our own place. My husband took a little convincing but he came around eventually. He’s a city boy originally. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT HILLS LIVING? We’ve got our own little community here, we didn’t have that in the city, Our favourite place to go is the Prancing Pony Brewery and we’ve made so many friends from nights out there. We actually have a better social life now than when we lived in the city. We’d go to nice restaurants in town but it’s not the same as going round to your friend’s place and having a fire outside and making some pizzas and drinking some craft beers. We have a new lifestyle, and a new network. We knew our neighbours in the city, but here we are actually friends with our neighbours. And we love having a big yard which our dogs love. HOW IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE SINCE THE MOVE? The great thing about moving to the hills is I have a studio space at home. I am also working out of a studio at the Lobethal Old Woollen Mills, the Adelaide Hills Council has given me a spot there and I can work on large scale art works there. But I love having my studio at home, if we had bought a place closer to town I wouldn’t have had room for that and I would have had to rent a studio somewhere else. Having the space at home is really nice. DO YOU TRAVEL BACK TO THE CITY MUCH? We love to go and try all the new restaurants, all the places people are talking about. The thing that makes me laugh is when we first moved here people said ‘oh it’s such a long way you’re never going to get into the city…’ , but it takes us less time to get to the city than if we lived in, say, Mawson Lakes, because of the traffic! And the drive is so pretty. HAS LIVING IN THE HILLS INFLUENCED YOUR WORK? It’s enabled me to have opportunities I might not have been able to have in the city. It’s easier to meet people, and they are happy to support you and help you to connect with other people. The amount of support I’ve had has blown me away. Things are less complicated, there’s a real tight-knit sense of community. WHAT INSPIRED YOUR WORK IN THE TUNNEL? I used to walk through there a lot – I still do. I guess when you’re an artist everything is a canvas. I always envisioned creating something there and I got a grant, and then I had to make it happen! When I started I thought what have I gotten myself into, it was so cold, it was so freezing when we did it but it was worth it in the end… 12 LANSER COMMUNITIES Artist in Residence in the Adelaide Hills.