Colours of Country- mindful journeys

Until I have developed my new website to host my. creative projects as a whole. I am going to use this space to share my botanical based print and ink art projects that I have been working on for several years. Earlier this year I spent 10 weeks in Laos doing a natural dye master class and have been at home making Top End foraged plant inks..

Much of my work is based on identity, connection with country, ethno-botany and the love I have of our native landscapes and our tropical environment. I share my stories through photography, print making and natural dyeing and fibre projects. The balance of living with respect to the environment and encouraging others to do so is a constant channel of my energy and sometimes a struggle on mental well being, fluctuating between joy and despair, much like between the waking moments and the unconscious in the morning when printed in the bed.

5 more minutes print 4 collage

5 more minutes collage

120cmx80cm botanical inks and inks, collage on paper

5 more minutes print 3 wash5 more minutes- Ink on paper

120cmx80cm botanical inks and prints on paper

5 more minutes

 

“5 More Minutes” is based on the transition in the morning when moving between the dream state and awake state and the feeling of being totally and utterly imprinted into the bed and another world; embodying a reluctance to leave the unconscious state where connections to other realms are more prominent and fluid. Dreams of the unconscious and natural world merge with sounds of waking birds and the smell of plants drifting through the louvers. The human and fruit skin and its print is a stamped reminder of the amazing place we share with all beings, interconnected to everything through our porous skin.

The body prints were made by laying on a bed, and the body gently pushed into the paper. The watercolours are later added and are made from native plants found in the bush in the Darwin region and represent a dream like fluid state. The fruit skin and leaves are printed with Chinese ink into the wet paper.

The below works in “Fledgling” 2017 at NCCA won the innovative print prize.

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IN the window of NCCA Nov 2017

Foraging and collecting,  becoming entwined in nature and the mindfulness and the meditation this brings is the art itself, it is the art practice that is the most important  part, a happy accident is that the pieces are beautiful and evoke the mind at peace with its surrounds.

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Above-  In-pressed with nature – 30 x 42 mm (2018)

A lot of artwork on paper held in our outside-inside tropical homes, is being eaten by insects and changing colour, being a post part of the process itself. Nothing is forever, only the museums and colonial views allude to this and try and preserve the physical.

We live in an ever changing world where things fade and degrade, while other things grow and expand. This should be no different for the creation of art, nothing is ever finished, the process of creation is the art itself and the piece created is not finished but will change over time and can only be snapped by a photograph.

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The prints are from leaves and fruit skin (Jack fruit) and human skin, alluding to the connectedness between us and all living beings, even plants, which we share form with and are connected to through our skin as we breath and touch.

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Samples 2017- 2019. Darwin native plant dyes and ink prints

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Plant sink samples and ink Nov 2019

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Inks and prints- thoughts and dreams 2017- 2019

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Close up details of prints- above. (including Jackfruit skin and human skin combination)

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Notes from A 10 day colour masterclass in Laos 2020.

I have searched for translations or parallels that exist that capture the essence of my art practice, and one that really resinates is a concept in Japanese. Mono No Aware. 物の哀れ

 

“Often considered to be untranslatable, mono no aware refers to the bittersweet realization of the ephemeral nature of all things. It is the awareness that everything in existence is temporary. The fleetingness of youth, the fading of romance, and the changing of seasons are not to be mourned, but cherished and appreciated in their impermanence, for that is where their beauty comes from.

Mono no aware translates literally to “the pathos of things”. In addition to pathos, aware can also be translated as sorrow, misery, or sensitivity, while mono refers to “things”. While there is a sense of melancholy associated with mono no aware, it is not meant to be a general sadness, but rather a deeply felt emotion that washes over the feeler as he or she realizes that everything is transient and of its own time and place.”

Life itself exudes this feeling, as well as a whole suite of happenings around us in nature, that only happen once in a cycle and will never happen in the same way, such as the beauty of a setting sun, the waves lapping on the shore, flowers that only bloom once a year, a shooting star, the love a tiny baby or young animal. Perhaps it also can be translated to an observation of being young and free or dancing on the last night of a festival, or holding a loved one tight, especially if they are at the end of their life time.

The inks may be brilliant for just a short time, or the papers free of insects, but there is a beauty in their impermanence.

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