Almost eight years ago our family packed up city life and headed for greener pastures. My husband and I were always day dreaming about having a patch somewhere – a craving for space and fresh air – not an uncommon yearning for city folk. On a brief trip to Queensland to see the family we had an epiphany – let’s do it! Six weeks later we had packed up our house and found somewhere to rent on the Sunshine Coast – far from my husband’s work base – there were a few who questioned our sanity. As excited as the family was to have us living close by I do think they wondered how we were going to eat! Let’s just say that it was a leap of faith that has really worked for us as a family. We have restructured our working lives and thankfully there is still bread on the table. As an artist – this move has proved to be productive and fruitful in so many ways. We eventually found our block of land – it has heaps of grass and even better our very own creek on the boundary – well, technically it’s a river. It really only appears that way when in full and furious flood!
We are constantly in awe of what a privilege it is for our family, friends and children to have this piece of almost pristine nature as our playground and on our doorstep. Stepping into the forest amongst the vines and towering rainforest trees and perching ourselves on our little sandy river beach amongst the tree roots is like entering another world! The Aboriginals saw it long before us when they named this part of the world ‘vine country’. We are too often swept up in daily routines and responsibilities and become literally blind to what is around us. Our little creek is a grounding reminder to the real and present beauty the natural world has to offer.
My paintings constantly refer to nature or my memories of playing in nature and I guess this is why I connect with other artists who share my appreciation. One I have been following for a while now is artist, Shona Wilson. Shona is a contemporary Australian sculptor who works with found natural and plastic elements. She says that it is the use of natural detritus that brings her closer to understanding the world we share. Most recently she has been exploring the invasion of plastics into our natural world.
I am delighted to announce that Shona will be coming to Eumundi on the weekend of 15 November to run a Collaborations with Nature workshop. Places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment. The workshop will provide participants with the opportunity to make their own ephemeral art work – providing you with a unique opportunity to experience interaction with nature, enhancing your connectedness and wonder of the world around us.
OTHER NEWS – Upcoming exhibition: Playing with the landscape part II – Toowoomba Regional Gallery. Opens June 21.