I am a visual artist based in Canberra, Australia. I completed my PhD studies in the Textiles Workshop at the Australian National University in 2015. In my practice-led research I explored the relationship between my internal world—a world of images, feelings, thoughts, intuitions, dreams and memories—and the outer world of nature. This research developed from my concern about human-led ecological crises such as climate change and flora and fauna extinctions, and I investigated the contribution that disconnections between humans and nature make to these crises. I use textile and paper-based media to examine the synergies, connections and tensions between humans and nature in my art practice.

I investigated the space between inner world and outer worlds by using psychoanalyst and psychiatrist D.W. Winnicott's psychodynamic concept of potential space as a methodology. Winnicott proposes that potential space is a “third part of human life … an intermediate area of experiencing, to which inner reality and external life both contribute.”[1]

[1] Donald W. Winnicott, Playing and Reality (London and New York: Routledge, 2005), 3.

I explored potential space for its relevance in examining ecological issues that occur when humans see themselves as separate from nature.  I continue with these working methodologies and concerns.

I use particular qualities of potential space—containment, play, empathy and transformation—in my approach to my practice to establish a way of working about and through potential space. Potential space emerges when the conditions are in place that allow for a creative and playful negotiation of inner and outer reality. Therefore, part of my approach involves finding ways to create the conditions that allow for the state of mind of potential space to arise, a set of conditions known as containment in Winnicott’s theory. These included developing ‘rules’—strategies and frameworks—to contain my research and practice. An examples of this is the scientific methods and rules established for the Dye Diaries I have undertaken in specific places. Once containment is established, potential space allows for an immediate and playful approach to understanding the relationship between inner and outer reality, which leads to an explorative approach in my work.

Dye Diary (plant drawings), 2012. Pressed eucalyptus cinerea leaves on paper. 56 x 38 cm

Dye Diary (plant drawings), 2012. Pressed eucalyptus cinerea leaves on paper. 56 x 38 cm

Lithosphere (detail), 2016. Patinated coppr wire.

Lithosphere (detail), 2016. Patinated coppr wire.