As a painting student at RMIT during the 90’s Stillman struggled to be inspired by paint found in a tube, she preferred the challenge of finding materials and pigments from the ‘constructed world’ to create an artwork. Best known for her book sculptures and woodcarvings, Stillman uses scalpel blades, jigsaws, sewing materials and drills to alter objects and create negative spaces that depict ‘signs of life’. Birds, plant life and the artist’s own scribbles are frequently used as subject matter. Her inventive artworks draw from both modern art and craft traditions to transform ordinary materials into works of art. The artist says ‘it’s my own form of alchemy – taking something very common and then giving it nobility’.