I was recently invited to participate in a group artist residency for the Canaipa Mudlines Art + Environment program, facilitated by artist Sharon Jewell. 14 artists from the Moreton Bay islands and South-East Queensland came together for a week to respond to a special wetlands area on Russell Island (Canaipa) called Turtle Swamp. Russell Island is located a ferry ride away from bayside Brisbane, sheltered within Moreton Bay by North Stradbroke Island. Like a lot of the islands in the area, it has a lot of human residents as well as a healthy population of Bush Stone-curlews.
There were two major components to the residency - a 24 hour studio exhibition of small works and a public walk-through of ephemeral responses created onsite at the Turtle Swamp wetlands and forest. Its a coastal wetland, with plenty of casuarinas, grass trees and forest gums. There were also quite a few ticks and sandflies, which luckily I managed to mostly avoid.
On her blog, Sharon has written some beautiful words about the residency with photographs of most of the forest artworks as well - click HERE to view her blog post.
Below are photos and narratives of my residency experiences:
|Before the artwork...|
acknowledging the violence that tore
the tree in two.
Found plant material wedged between
bark and trunk.
|Here I am reading the poem next to my installation|
at the public walk-through of the forest.
It was my first poetry performance.
|This work is titled "SOS from the forest".|
Gouache on wood and Casuarina seedpods.
|Banksia Artist Book.|
Handmade paper, banksia leaves and thread.
Sometimes the leaves are more beautiful than any
replication via print or drawing.
|Here I am playing with rubbing paper on trees,|
and doing a bit of tree-hugging at the same time!
The residency allowed me the time and space to play within
art practice within a forest setting. So good!