Catherine Croll majored in printmaking and photography at Alexander Mackie College of Advanced Education (now COFA) She graduated with a Degree in Education (Fine Art)
Catherine was employed at the Albion Street Remand Centre and Westmead Boys Home as coordinator of arts and creative programs for boys aged 6 to 18 years.
In 1981 Catherine moved to the Riverina, taking up the position of Head of Visual Arts at the Riverina Institute of TAFE (Narrandera). For the following 15 years Catherine taught drawing, painting, mixed media, photography and printmaking for students aged 18 to 80.
Whilst at Narrandera Catherine was responsible for designing and delivering the CABE program (Certificate of Adult Basic Education) to Indigenous students from the district.
In addition to working at TAFE Catherine was the art teacher at Matong Public School and a casual teacher at Narrandera and Barellan High Schools.
During this period Catherine was a regular judge of Art Competitions in Griffith, Leeton, Narrandera, Barellan and Wagga. She was also the winner of a number of major prizes and awards including the Cootamundra Art Prize and Wagga Wagga Art Prize.
In 1991 Catherine took up the position of Regional Art Development Officer (RADO) for the Riverina Region. In this position she was responsible for the establishment of a number of major events, festivals, art prizes and performances. Catherine continued to create her own work, to mentor young artists and support more established artists as a collector.
In 1996 Catherine moved to Newcastle where she was employed as CEO of the Newcastle Community Arts Centre and Arts Hunter, a regional cultural development program.
In Newcastle, Catherine was responsible for the management of a large complex which housed 32 artists studios, darkrooms and a blackbox theatre. She continued in her support for cultural development by establishing the Newcastle Art Space and Emerging Art Prize.
Her regional work included the production of Ribbons of Steel (the BHP Closure Ceremonies), The Hunter Float for the 2001 Federation Parade and assistance with the establishment of the Men’s Shed in Port Stephens, The Performing Arts Centre in Lake Macquarie, ‘Gooving the Moo‘ youth music festival in Maitland and the Artstart Program.
In 2002 Catherine established her own company Catherine Croll Community Development and once again began focusing on her own artwork. She was held a solo exhibition ‘But I Love You Baby‘ in Newcastle and was invited to participate in the Art Rage Festival, Perth.
Also in 2002 Catherine was employed to design and deliver Australia’s first online Diploma in Community Cultural Development. This course commenced in 2003 and Catherine facilitated its delivery revision and assessment to up to 70 students annually.
In 2004 Catherine was invited to be the guest artist at the Brisbane Women’s Festival. Here she showed her photographs as part of Women in Rock at the Judith Wright Centre and a revised version of ‘But I Love You Baby‘ at a group exhibition in Fortitude Valley.
In 2006 Catherine visited China for the first time, travelling over 30,000kms solo across the country over a 9 month period before taking up a residency at Red Gate in 2007.
During this time she self published her first book of photographs ‘China a Portrait‘.
On her return to Newcastle she held a series of solo exhibitions and gave a number of lectures including ‘Double Happiness – Catherine’s Great Adventure’
For the following 10 years Catherine has been working to build bilateral relationships between artists, curators and gallery directors in China and Australia. More recently she has been pushing the boundaries and undertaking more culturally challenging projects which bring together Australian Indigenous artists and minority group artists from China.