Tuesday, May 31, 2011

World Environment Day 2011

In celebration of World Environment Day on Sunday June I will be exhibiting my ephemeral installation The Eight Forests in the botanical gardens at Mt Coot-tha in Brisbane. At 10am and 2pm I will be giving an artist talk about this work and my residency this year at the Botanical Gardens.

During the day visitors will be able to take part in an environmental art activity writing on clay and recycled paper what the forests they have visited have meant to them.

My installation refers to the eight major forest types in Australia. Acacia, Callitris, Casuarina, Eucalypt, Mangroves, Melaleuca, Plantations and Rainforests. These forests are one of Australia's greatest assets and are complex, diverse ecosystems that provide a wide array of environmental and socioeconomic benefits and serives.

This work is inspired by the United Nations International Year of the Forests, 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Working wih bamboo in Korea

The bamboo grove at the MtCoot-tha gardens on my early morning walk was quite alluring, deep maroon and rusty orange with the morning dew still on the new shoots.

I made an artwork in Korea using 12 foot bamboo poles and clay mixed with paper pulp. I was amazed when the delivery of bamboo arrived at my studio space in Gongju, the poles, about 50 of them, were all 12 ft long and perfectly straight.

I later visited a bamboo forest in Japan to help another artist cut lengths for her artwork, an amazing experience as the bamboo went on for ever and I could walk easily through the forest of bamboo and never see the sky or too far ahead.

'From the Forest'

The Focus of my residency at the Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens, Brisbane is the Australian Plant Communities section that contains the gardens collection of native plants in natural communities.

I have spent my time during the first month of my residency wandering leisurely through the different sections of the gardens looking for inspiration and frankly, just enjoying the luxury of spending my working hours in such a pleasurable way.

Monday, March 14, 2011

'tsuki-yama-chisen' or 'mountain-pond-stream'

The theme of the Japanese Gardens at Mt Coot-tha is 'mountain-pond-stream' and the Japanese characters above the entrance 'yu-tsui-en' mean 'come into the garden and enjoy the blue of the water and the green of the trees'.

During March I will be using the tea house in the garden as my studio. The perfect place to sit and reflect on the coming months. At this stage of my residency I am focusing on absorbing the physical aspects of the gardens, just being in the gardens, observing nature and talking to people that work or visit the botanical gardens.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens

My studio this year will be the beautiful Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens in Brisbane. I will be artist-in-residence at the gardens this year and will be creating artworks in outdoor sites within the 52 hectares that is recognised as Queensland's premier subtropical gardens.

The gardens feature more than 20,000 plants, representing about 5,000 species from around the word. The collections are divided into arid, tropical and temperate zones, uniquely possible in Brisbane's subtropical climate. Both native and exotic plants are represented, however the Australian Plant Communities occupies half of the total area of the gardens.

Every year an artist is invited to use the gardens as inspiration for a creative project. This is a wonderful opportunity for an artist to access the incredible living collections, the gardens botanical and horticultural library, the educational program, the gardens research programs and the on-site Queensland State Herbarium.