PARTICIPATORY SPORT FOR CRAFT ARTISTS
When I first built my current studio I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the landscape I looked out at every day.
This is what I see from my studio. I love it!
I remember thinking “I wonder when those forms will appear in my work”
But that didn’t happen, something much more interesting happened - my practice grew into and through this rich place, not looking out on it, but becoming part of it. And alongside that becoming more embedded in place, the question changes...
How can I express how this place speaks to me, our conversations, in my work?
I have become obsessed with finding ways to represent place, and my relationship with it, through my work.
This chair Place One, combines a topographical impression of my studio location with a representation of blackbean trees, one of the rainforest species that grew here before it the land was cleared for agriculture.
My partner Tamsin coined the term landscape memoir to describe works like these - a kind of collaboration between artist/craftworker and place.
The idea of landscape memoir seeks to describe a creative response to place, where emotion, memory, and mythology are privileged over reason, history, and science. Our understandings of place are complex layerings of ideas that cannot be reduced to simple rational explanations.
This table is in memory of our lost old forests - thin verticals of precious red cedar form the outline of the stump of a large tree, with the growth ring pattern freehand routed into plantation hoop pine plywood.
In the Cato cabinet, I carved a topographic map of the Noosa Shire and overlaid it with the words of environmental author/activist Nancy Cato sandblasted on glass.
This thin and delicate sapling chair expressed its own precarious hope:
From old spirits deep in the soil
Wellspring of our more than human world
This tree of wood is timber's foil.
A vegetative stillness that inspires.
Would that we heard this sapling’s story…
Ripples in Country - coffee table of crows ash and Australian red cedar. Volcanic plug mountains erupt into the landscape of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, their names poor translations of indigenous connection to place. But what lies beneath?Next post: the Cooroora Institute