Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Mangroves, arts practice and sense of self

My direction in art over the past 12 months has been shifting to a mode where I am getting to know my self better through connection with place.  For me, that place is mangrove creeks and tidal zones.  I have a strong history of family connections to coastal and tidal zones - my Dad was a keen fisherman and now that he has been gone for over 10 years, my memories of him are found amongst the mangroves.

I don't consider myself to be a writer, but I am using words to explore and discover more about the connection between myself and place.

My casuarina skeleton lies like a bridge
connecting creek water to eroded bank, 
my strength devoured by the hunger of a full moon surge,
my roots parched and shriveled, straining
against the ash of salt-laden air 
holding both my breath and reclamation.

-  I will return to the earth one day


This work is a study of mangrove leaves found washed up on the high tide mark.
I was amazed at the variety of colours, so I made a long
concertina of watercolour paper, with watercolour, pen and pencil
drawings.  I also added a few words of poetry that I had
written - the words flow between the leaves along the 
length of the book, a celebration of detritus and decay.

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