This started as a facebook post which just got too big and needed its own space for me to put images and write about. It is a for Sophie Munns from the wonderful ‘Homage to the seed‘ facebook page who who fills my feed with amazing images of seedy goodness and painted some beautiful images of ‘Petri dishes of imagined seeds’ Image by Sophie Munns from Homage to the seed facebook page (I hope you dont mind me putting you image here as I cant link directly to facebook)
they took me down memory lane to when I was hand printing hundreds of pollen samples for the geography department at Monash Uni. so many amazing shapes and designs straight from nature they made me cross eyed and after a while I would start to see little faces in them….
Emeritus Professors Peter Kershaw is a Palynologist and it was a honour to work with him… Palynology: This study area is concerned with the reconstruction of past environments and biological communities from the study of pollen, diatoms, beetles and other organic materials preserved in accumulated sediments of bogs, lakes and marine environments.
Seeing these images also reminded me of the amazing Klaus Kemp, master of the Victorian art of diatom arrangement and the wonderful video ‘THE DIATOMIST’ which just blows my mind….
Its ballarat international foto biennale time again and this year i have a little show at the wonderful elephant patch (which has now moved from creswick to ballarat east) the show is titled ‘accumulating pieces of myself’ and is a series of self portraits with my hands and object from my archive of personal bits and pieces…
I have changed my morning routine… its a big thing for me as I love my coffee from my coffee guy and my table in the cafe and the walk through the pretty garden each day that I have done 5days a week for the past year and a half but things do change… I am now attending ‘the Church of Secular Coffee’ which is a new cafe on campus by the guys at St Ali.south melbourne… its closer to my office and has a nice leafy outlook and great coffee. I also have a new place to park which makes my getaway from campus so much easier…. but alas no pretty walk through my garden 😦 what I do get to see each day is the stunning banksia…
I have been inspired by then since my uni days and we have so many different ones its just wonderful… if you want to see the incredible variety of these stunning shrubs check out Celia Rossers incredible botanical illustrations documenting all 72 (I think) many of which you can see in the most random places across campus
I taking this change as a good thing and am excited to see what new creative idea emerge from it…
Yesterday I rugged up in the chilly 8 degrees (and only 5 degrees in Ferny Creek) to check out the wonderful Dandenong ranges open studios. 36 artist from the hills opened there private creative spaces to share… its a brave thing to expose yourself in this way I think, creative spaces are always full of pieces of yourself pinned to the walls and in piles on the floor so I am always honoured to be witnessing the creative genious in there natural surroundings… Even the most extraverted artist (which is the catagory i think i could put myself in) can have a trouble really opening up sometimes when it comes to the creative process… All great adventures should start with a planning stage (and coffee) so mine started at my first studio stop. Burrinja is an amazing cultural community centre in Upwey and is the central home of the open studios, it hosts a group exhibition from all the artists. This years theme was “the Tencity of change”and is a great way to get a sample of that the artist produce when making the very difficult choice of which studios to visit. And what better place to make this difficult choice is the new cafe (reopened by the fantastic owner of the Kallista Tearooms which has in my coffee smob opinion the best coffee and service in the hills) What a fantastic exhibition and preview to the artists work…. my favorotes being… Stunning works from Emma Jennings, Eva Glac and Lisa Hass ….
After checking out the main exhibition I wandered around the studios with in Burrinja… The wonderful naturally dyed textiles from Jacqueline Grace
Then I wandered around to see Lisa Hass in her studio of beautiful ceramics which remind me of my favorite Danish ceramic designers with a modern twist… A lovely trip past Christine Lawry to see her printmaking…. I always check out TBC (Tiffany Bishop Collective) when ever I get the chance as Tiffaney is doing wonderful things with local young creatives and a PHD. And for my final destination I got to see 3 wonderful artists in one wonderful space…. Emma Jennings studio is 3 floors of wonder… it is set in the leafy (but very cold) Ferny Creek up the mountain from Belgrave where I live…. This is a shared space with ceramists Eva Glac and painter, weaver, designer (+more) Shelley Krycer … The fire was warming the trees and bushes where green and glistening outside and artwork was fascinating on many levels….
(Trying to redo this post that I lost a week ago)
Every morning I walk across the campus at work. Monash uni has wonderful native australian landscaping thanks to some wonderful renegade geographers doing midnight raids and replacing the European trees with natives so many times it stuck (RIP Jim ). I love seeing the flowering gums and walking through the lemon scented gardens. I love the seeds and leaves that fall and the rough beauty never fails to amaze me.
But I do have a soft spot for a pretty cottage garden and one garden I have been incredibly inspired by over the years is the Kenneth Hunt Garden. This garden has all the beauties, a huge heaving wisteria a good selection of roses and lavender, pretty daisy’s and a continuously flowering magnolia. Its centerpiece however is a little different it is an apple tree. Thats nothing special I hear you say but this one has inspired geniuses. The apple is a Kent and was planted in 1975 from the cutting from Newton very own tree that helped him formulate the theories motion and gravity…
Over the weekend of the 14th and 15th of Febuary the Melbourne PhotoBook Festival is on with some incredible exhibitions and events including the PhotoBook Fair held at the wonderful CCP (Centre for Contemporary Photography) in George St, Fitzroy. As part of this I will be launching my photobook “An Alphabet of Found and Fallen” which is based on a series I started in 2011 and never really finished because I was about to pop with my daughter. I always thought it would look its best as a book and now it complete and bound….
This morning Im a little shattered…. I normally do my walk through campus enjoying all the different gardens ( http://www.monash.edu.au/campuses/clayton/gardens/ ) I cross through to get to my office at Monash University ( I actually choose the carpark across campus so I can go through my favorite ones). Im in love with the stunning flowering gums over the past few weeks and I love fossicking through the leaf litter beneath these wonderful native plants for the beautiful gum nuts and other seed pots and skeletal leaves but today I was totally horrified to see my favorite tree, a stunning silver princess weeping gum gone….. not just a plant in the ground but the whole garden bed, Im still reeling with the shock… This beautiful tree has been a continual source of inspiration over the past year that it is really quite sad to see it gone…. I collect its leaves and seed pods and have used them time and time again for artworks…. I hope that its has been transplanted somewhere new or in its place something else is planted and not just another horrible bit of concrete layed to cover the bare dirt… 😦
I love discovering something new and today I have seen 2 new artists that Im excited to find out more about…..
The first is not an artist but an anthropologist F.E. Williams who studied village societies in Papua in the 20s and 30s, He compiles a huge amount of photographs from his studies. I was asked to scan some images from an awesome book “An Anthropologist in Papua” for an academic for research and I thank him for showing me this fantastic work which was listed on the UNESCO Asia/Pacific Memory of the World Register in 2012…
The other artist new to me is Swiss artist Ursus Wehrli’s who really wants to just organize the world, His work organizing everyday objects as well as famous artworks are really interesting and comical… I love his book “The Art of Clean Up“