Sunday, August 20, 2017

'Foliate'; My artist residency exhibition at the Glasshouse Port Maquarie

In early 2017 I completed an artist residency at the Glasshouse in Port Maquarie NSW. If you want to see what I got up to during the residency check out my previous blog post HERE. Last weekend I went back to the Glasshouse to give an artist talk and see the work up on the gallery walls. Below are a few images of the day and the 'Foliate' exhibition.

‘Foliate’ - Reimagining leaves through embroidery

My residency at Glasshouse started with a walk.
I always like to start a new project with fieldwork and my explorations around Port Macquarie took me to Sea Acres National Park. As I wandered around this natural wonder I was attracted not to the rainforest canopy above but the subtle rainbow of colour underfoot. This easily overlooked spectacle was made up of fallen eucalypt leaves in various stages of dying and drying out. I collected a range of these leaves and took them into the studio to inform my work for the week.

Eucalypt trees are so commonplace in our natural and suburban environments that their beautiful sculptural leaves are often unnoticed.

Once in the studio I strove to reimagine the leaves in embroidery, focusing on their basic form and subtle colour shifts. During the week I stitched dozens of leaves, striving to achieve something close to the beautiful colouring of my collected specimens.  These stitched leaves can be seen in the two ‘leaf lines’ that are arranged like rows of embroidered specimens.

Over the past year I have created several artworks that explore the structure, form and colour of various leaf species. Decorative leaves like the cultivated Begonia and Caladium leaves were studied for their unusual, vibrant colouring. With these studies my goal was to map the patterning and veining systems of individual leaves to create large-scale stitched studies.

I hope to draw attention to the beauty of the natural world with my work. Inviting people to look closer at the often-overlooked elements of nature and appreciate their subtle beauty, intricacies and diversity.

Thank you to everyone who attended the artist talk and has made an effort to see the exhibition so far. 'Foliate' will be on display until September 10th 2017 at the Glasshouse Port Macquarie Regional Gallery. 

If you visit the exhibition make sure you pick up a copy of the exhibition catalogue which includes an introduction from the gallery director Niomi Sands as well as a short essay by arts writer Louise Martin-Chew. 

Cant make it to the exhibition? No worries, you can download a digital copy of the exhibition catalogue from my website HERE.

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