This week I joined an online class exploring different ways of working with nature in an art practice.
Initially we were encouraged to explore our environment and collect flora that attracted us. Obviously, in parks and and on bush trails I only picked up fallen/dead pieces but I also took the pruning shears to a few bits in my garden as I felt my colour range from public land was a little sparse.
Having been collecting, drying and flattening various pieces over recent years to use for printing I felt I had a reasonable collection as a start point.
From here I added other less organic pieces and started creating and photographing small vignettes.
This dried flower head has a deep russet red tinge to it. It’s some kind of shrivelled gum blossom. It sits atop a torn piece of Kozo I dyed a while ago. I felt that the shell and rectangular stone (polished Jasper given to me by a friend) added a contrast to the organic shapes of the other components.
Rusted bolts and a dried and bleached coral found on the beach were added to my garden materials.
It was a challenge to work a design around a long piece of fire grass but the inclusion of items with very different shapes has brought more interest to what could have been just a very long narrow composition. Torn kitchen hand towel, heavily stained by tea, has been used to create a straight edge to the right.
Love the colour of the Kangaroo Paw I picked yesterday. Each flower head seems to be tipped with tiny claws. Then this morning a few red dried leaves drifted to my door, begging to be included.
The piece of stamped copper shim was given to me by a master metalworker I met some years ago and is a keepsake of my creative time teaching in Grafton. Again I’ve added Kozo, but undyed this time.
Turning the Kozo around changed the composition from horizontal to vertical allowing me to add the 2 shell sections in keeping with the directional pull. The photo has transformed them from matte white shell slices to shiny pearlised pieces.
Some of the fresh leaves I collected were starting to dry out and today I found that although they were still green in colour they were so dry they disintegrated when I tried to use them, so I just included the fragments in my vignette. Some of these materials have been used when printmaking and are a little stained with inks. I think it adds to the colour scheme.