Children today exist and connect in a virtual playground. My own childhood in the Australian bush where we made our own fun – no television, no computers and no iphones is literally stuff of the dark ages for my kids.
It is my belief that the directness of this simple childhood and our daily engagement with nature laid the foundations for me being an artist concerned with the organic part of life. The natural world is where I feel most grounded, connected and content. It is part of who I am. To an extent my painting practice is part ‘play’. It allows me to tap into those memories and ways of making and playing in the Australian landscape.
I am often attracted to the shape of something. I love the forms and patterns found in nature. So much about nature is sculptural and perfect. We have lots of wonderful vines in our forest and they make me want to grab a piece of charcoal or a thick flat, round brush with some ink to capture their lines.
Recently I have taken to making little ephemeral installations in the forest where I live on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland. This is a way of practicing mindfulness and getting into a relaxed space. In fact it is exactly how we used to play as kids. As an adult artist this practice opens my mind up to see things in a different way. I take photographs and do drawings of these to refer to back in the studio and to translate onto the canvas.