Using basketry techniques has a dual purpose in my work—they provide a way of visualising the potential space between self and nature, and a means of generating the mind state of potential space. When potential space arises there is a feeling of immersion and complete absorption in one's activity. Basketry is a repetitive practice. The labour intensive and repetitive processes I use create an altered sense of time and space in which the boundaries between inner and outer reality dissolve, allowing for new understanding to arise.
Basketry practices are ideal for visualising intermeshed and interrelated forms. I make use of the particular qualities of woven textiles-interlacing threads to form cloths and patterns-as a way to explore the complex interconnections between the human and natural worlds.
Held Mysteries are baskets made from plant-dyed yarns and either copper or silver wire supports. Each work is made with yarns dyed from one plant and this is indicated on a paper label. The range of colours is made from using a number of natural fibres as each takes the dyes uniquely. Using plant dyes is a mysterious process emerging between the plant materials and human intervention. Many plants give unexpected results like the bright oranges and reds from some eucalyptus species. This is an ongoing series of work. Each basket is small and fits in the palm of the hand.
In Memory, 2017
In a small chapel in Launceston are three urns holding the ashes of my mother, grandmother and a grandfather I never met. Launceston is enfolded in my memory and I travelled there often as a child to visit my grandmother. She lived near the Cataract Gorge, in a home overlooking the Tamar. I remember many happy walks with her in these beautiful environments. My last trip to Launceston was to bring my mother’s ashes home. All the threads in my baskets have been dyed with eucalyptus leaves and barks sourced from Launceston, infusing the work with place.
Craft ACT Artist in residence, 2017
After a wet winter the sound of water flowing through the creeks and rivers of Namadgi was wonderful. Resonant sounds as water flowed into unseen depths, gentle whispers as water meandered passed Gudgenby hut and the rushing, gushing crashes of water surging over rocks. As I listened I imagined weaving the sound of water, trying to find a way to capture the multitude of ‘voices’ I could hear in the waterways. Flow is my visual interpretation of these sounds.
The focus of my first residency was the environmental protection of the alpine bogs and fens. I visited Bogon Fen once again and wondered at its fecundity, and its ecological role in water filtration. Seep symbolises this filtration. The yarns in this work have mainly been dyed with plants from the bogs and fens and celebrate their rich flora abundance.
Earth Exhibition, 2016. Artist's statement
I feel myself held within the earth’s infinite connections.
In Earth Cores I have looped copper wire into cylindrical forms. The intricacy of the works is enhanced by using a number of alchemical processes for creating patinas on the copper. The lace-like quality of Earth Cores is rearticulated and redrawn in the shadows they cast. The shadows intermingle to form complex and ever-changing patterns which I understand to be analogous with my endlessly evolving relationship with earth.
Lithosphere is made in two parts. The basket is a symbolic vessel holding the earth’s essence, its gifts and offerings that allow all living things to exist. In the wall piece I am exploring the patterning and interactions which connect all living things
Fire vessels, 2016
While I was at Hill End on an artist's residency I experimented with fire to patinate the copper wire baskets I was making. The fire created a beautiful array of colours- from pinks, blues, greens to blacks. It was an exciting and unpredicatable process
This mandala is a celebration of the mysterious, alchemical processes of spiritual growth, and the complex connections which make a whole. The small nest or pod-like forms create spaces for rest and contemplation to incorporate both difficult and joyful experiences. The reddening or rubedo as well as the darkness of nigredo are held within the work.
Reddening was selected for the 2015 Blake Prize Director's Cut exhibition
Interconnectedness explores the interrelated nature of the human and natural worlds. It was selected for the 2014 Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize. Each small disc is woven from plant-dyed yarns