Born in Hawkes Bay, Cassandra spent most of her childhood in the secluded and stunning landscape of Ida Valley in Central Otago, New Zealand.
Since very early on she developed a love of drawing. This was inspired by her mother who was an oil painter. Cassandra's parents would often find her up late, sitting in the hallway tracing images from their collection of books. Her fondness for horses, all animals and the natural world became a constant source of inspiration for her artwork. At the age of ten she became a member of Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund and was developing an environmentalist stance on life.
Following high school Cassandra ventured north to study Psychology at Canterbury University. Alongside the study she continued to produce work, exhibiting in small local shows and completing various commission pieces for friends and family to top up student income, or lack thereof. She began working in mental health where she was able to share her love of art through interactive drawing therapy. Cassandra believes that 'art is and always will be a profound means of universal communication and self-exploration'.
Currently based on the stunning Otago Peninsula in Dunedin, New Zealand, she is an active member of the long-standing Otago Art Society. Cassandra returned to Otago from Canterbury to complete a Master of Science degree and to be closer to immediate and extended whanau.
The decision to leave Canterbury and return to Otago was the basis for involvement in the Family Court. Sadly her application for relocation was denied and she lost day to day care of her son. "As heart breaking as this has been for me, as both a mother and a Psychologist I am more heartbroken and saddened by the process itself. The lack of compassion, understanding and advocacy in the NZ Family Court is in my opinion appalling. My own experience and the countless experiences others have shared with me since speaking openly about my journey has deeply motivated me to engage my artistic ability and advocate with my artistic voice for change. There is much work to be done to remedy the current system and I have chosen to start my active involvement in this process by being a part of this exhibition".