Kate Miller-Heidke

Who was the first artist (in any field) to make a big impression on you? (Or your first influential encounter with art?)

My cousin Annie Lee (occasionally known as Mourne Kransky of the Kransky Sisters) is a brilliant character actress, singer and performer. She used to come to family dinners in character, and then after we’d eaten with this strange and hilarious new family member, she would sing funny songs. As a child I was completely fascinated and awed by her. I saw how much joy she brought to us and I was completely swept up by the power of her humour and her storytelling.

Name your favourite art gallery or museum in the world?
I had a brilliant time at the Guggenheim in Bilbao – there were things in there that made my senses spark up against each other in new and exciting ways, particularly the Richard Serra installation. However, if pressed to name my favourite, I would say MONA [Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart] not only because of the art but also because of everything it stands for. David Walsh is a hero of mine and the grandiose scope of his crazy-beautiful project is something that makes me proud to be Australian. In terms of museums, I love the Mutter Museum of Medical Atrocities in Philadelphia, because you can see all sorts of wondrous, terrifying, freaky things in there and you come out feeling so grateful to be alive, and in the twenty-first century.

When was the last time you were inspired and why?
I’ve been living in New York for the past two months, performing in an opera at the Met [The Metropolitan Opera]. I’ve met some very clever, talented people here – I’m inspired by people who do things their own way. There’s something about New York that makes you feel like anything’s possible. Also, there’s a classical music renaissance going on in Brooklyn that’s pretty f*cking exciting.

Kate Miller-Heidke will perform at Friday Nights at Jean Paul Gaultier on  9 Jan. Online tickets for Fri 9 Jan are sold out, limited tickets available at the door.

Read full interview in the current edition of Gallery magazine. Available at NGV design stores.