I have observe and studies the land for most of my life. Admiring the low light at both ends of the day, the subtle details that change with the seasons, and variations in land morphology.
During the past ten years as an independent contemporary visual artist, I have had many successful exhibitions, and works that have received recognition through awards and publications here and overseas: works that stand alone in their unique, upright, felted sculptural art forms, and work that depict local land, place, time, and light in large wall felt art.
Through the academic faculties of environmental science and historical geography, I have crafted my knowledge of the local environment with my most recent artworks, delving primarily into the distinctive detail contained in regional land and vegetation.
My most recent exhibition, at the La Trobe University Visual Arts Centre Bendigo in 2012, explored four uniquely different locations close to Bendigo. The works prerogative was to draw distinctive characteristics from each of the locations and express the core of their essence through contemporary innovative fibre and felt art. The windblown dry country to the north, the soft hills to the south, the tall forest to the east, and the tangled swampy grassland to the west was all clearly represented through felt sculpture with raw materials and native vegetation dyed fibres.
My artwork is the study of the subtleties of the bush in Central Victoria. Tension, form, colour and texture emanate through the works to reflect “spirit of place” and the strength of each individual location in its own right.
Natural earthy colours are achieved through the steeping of eucalypt leaves and the use of local black alpaca and sheep fleece, then combined with the organic and local sticks, stones, bones, leaves, and plant fibres sourced from that particular location being represented. Notations of season, sun, rain and wind, in combination with the light source of the day’s break and day’s close are prominent throughout my artwork.
More recently the mix of natural colour with commercially dyed colour are worked together in a picture in felt, with texture, light, and tonal qualities, and an energy contained within the very essence of the cloth. Mostly large felt cloths admired for their soft portrayal of light and sky.
Then there is the structural qualities of the unique upright felt sculptures, the surface detail and the form speak of soft detail that is just asking to be touched. The viewer often wondering if it is in face ceramic and instead of felt.
The artworks are grounded in place and time, unified through contemporary art forms, projecting the magic and beauty of nature’s available materials, intertwined to interpret the natural world. It is organic, earthy and intuitive art that has dialogue with the environment it represents.
It has taken ten years to develop my technique, exploring the edges of my art practice. The technique is always developing through my art practice, questioning convention of what a vessel is, what a sculpture is, and what a painting is. I learn as I play with the fibres and raw materials, each of the materials responds to the process in a different way. The process is incredibly tactile, the fibres are place in many dry layers, delicately combining two or three colours or tones, some silk or thread or textural elements, some detailed embellishment. All determined by the final felt artform. These fibres are then wet down, and worked with soap and water until they weld together in a felt form.
It is art conceived by simply picking up a special stick from the forest floor, or a few blades of grass. Closely examining the bark on a tree trunk, the waters edge, or a gentle breeze and the grass, being aware, and then carefully designing, and shaping, capturing that very moment and interpreting it in fibre.