Born and resident in Melbourne until 1978, Margaret West studied sculpture and printmaking at RMIT in the nineteen fifties, then ceramics, painting, and gold and silver-smithing at RMIT in the nineteen seventies. She also studied philosophy and music (piano, oboe, viola). In 1979 Margaret West moved to Sydney to take up a position at Sydney University College of the Arts where she taught until 1999. She travelled and exhibited extensively in Australia and overseas and is represented in major national and international art collections. Her poetry and essays are published in journals and anthologies and on the internet. She published several artist's books which develop a dialogue between text and image. Her work is broadly informed by interests which range through art, literature, music, philosophy, science and technology. The metaphoric potential of the everyday world and concern about political issues provided grist to her mill. Her art practice is polymorphic and idiosyncratic, moving between installation, object making, jewellery, drawing, and photography. She employed a variety of materials and processes, as dictated by the matter in hand. These, in turn, play their role in determining the focus and form of the work. Since 2000 Margaret West lived at Blackheath in the Upper Blue Mountains of New South Wales, where she delighted in the clear air and the solitude.