REFUGE – November – 2017
This exhibition comes from observing the changes that inevitably occur from urban development. I look at what is happening outside my front door and see a metaphor for the disquiet of the world at large. There are connections to humanity, mortality, and how we value ‘things’.
I contemplate the displacement of resident birds and other animals that are dealing with a constantly renegotiated habitat. I think about the native trees that are extracted and replaced with light rail and so-called ‘budget’ housing.
In nature, nothing remains static, there is always renewal and regeneration after a natural disaster. There is none, however, when urban development creates the dislocation of flora and fauna. I have added these new ‘refugees’ of the urban landscape to my alphabet of linocut images, observing and collecting specific specimens with these thoughts in mind.
The new specimens build like memories and are part of a collective history; the images grow upon themselves telling the story and create a new imagined sense of place.
My images are a contemplation on pollinisers, pollinators and pollination an exacting process that is fundamental to the world’s food source but usually goes unnoticed, quietly working away in the background of our daily lives. When moths, butterflies, bees and others visit to harvest their essence there is a choreography that nature has performed throughout history. In these encounters, the flowers disclose their secret to the pollinators, who take it home in the form of scent and taste.
I approach my images without plan but as an exploration, letting the images grow upon themselves, they build like memories. I started to carve linocuts of flowers and observed and imagined pollinators from my garden and others gardens for around 5 years adding these blocks to my extensive alphabet of lino blocks. I have also expanded my studies to well known flowers of the past from images in the public domain adding history to my body of blocks creating a universal garden at my finger tips. The process of carving allows me to concentrate on the object of study itself, letting me concentrate on that particular flower, moth or imagined pollinator while printing allows me to dream on the elusive elements, the colour, music, the life and death of the flower, the memories of when and where and which have been pollinated.
I hope the images illuminate memories of flowers planted, plucked, gathered along with the imagined music and dance of the elements of the significant process of pollination.