Friday, November 25, 2011

Taking time to reflect on the UK Research Trip

The seventh day home and I'm starting to feel more alive. A friend called Monday with a wonderful offer to go down the coast for a few days. So early Tuesday morning I packed up drawing materials, computer and notes from my trip to get a little more focused on documenting the trip. Home last night I am now relishing the fact that was such a well-timed surprise. 

I did in fact have an excellent opportunity to review the OS experience, do some watercolour painting whilst sitting in a cafe for four hours, in deep concentration, and of course engage in good conversation  processing everything with my friend.

I also visited a local ceramic artist in Brunswick Heads who I have blogged about before. A late afternoon walk on the beach, paddling, mooching around, collecting small round stones, led to photos... as yet to be downloaded. The grey afternoon was trying to rain...
It was very peaceful and in a way the misty grey swallowing up the definition of horizon and all was just right  for the mood I was in ... soothing and enveloping.

I will post photos soon of this short trip south.

This is a quick ink drawing done whilst at the Millennium Seedbank... all australian seeds.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Home again In Brisbane after Oct-Nov UK trip

Back home in Brisbane as of yesterday and I now have the considerable task of getting documentation of the trip up-to-date, following up with contacts made whilst away and working with al the material I produced whilst away. 

Challenging yes...but in a good way. It always seems to take time to absorb the impressions and experiences of a trip like this... nine days short of two months away.

Images from my time at the MSB... top left works were done on A4 paper recycled in the library... drawing straight over the scientific research notes. There was no end of stimulus for the studio...

Work on large paper ... simple pattern making ... on the right: cross sections of seed capsules and fruits.

Fellow residents on the last night of my residency... in the staff room where I spent the weekend painting.
Marco left from Sardinia, Giangelo from Brazil, Shahid from Pakistan, Efisio form Sardinia and Gisele from Brazil. They were all doing Seed Research projects... so interesting conversations were had learn ng about their respective countries and projects.

This image above and below is of the artwork produced at the end of the Kew MSB Residency ... on the final weekend I worked on a large linen cloth with acrylic paint and pigmented ink... about a metre square. It was presented to the Director Paul Smith for the Millennium Seedbank Project as a gift in appreciation of my time at Wakefield Place.

With my three weeks given over to a long list of tasks ... time to paint a specific work was limited to the last weekend... so I was somewhat under pressure to produce something fitting the gift I wished to leave in that time frame. 

The other challenge was to crete a work that could be hung easily despite my not having access to my usual materials. This work was put together as a wall hanging to save the trouble and expense of framing. It was a bus tip and train trip to get to Brighton to buy some of the necessary materials as it was... so this was an ideal format given the circumstances.

I took the title "Counting the Inheritance' I had used before for this work as it seem so fitting given the critical role the MSB plays in working with the planet's Seed Inheritance.

After leaving the MSB I headed for two weeks in London. These drawings are from an afternoon spent at the Natural History Museum where I visited the Darwin Centre and went behind the scenes to view the fossil collections and make notes and drawings on fossil seeds.

I will be back offer the coming weeks with more installments from the trip. Do visit the Homage to the Seed blog and particularly my main blog where I have been adding posts on this trip.

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Blogging for me is an extension of keeping a journal which I have done in various forms over the decades. The difference being this is not a closed book! I like that it offers an opportunity to explore that which concerns me as an artist and as an individual about living and participating in this vastly complex, unquestionably exciting yet unnerving time in human history. Through the blog I hope to increase the possibilties for cross-pollination which I believe can strengthen the sense of being part of something both personal and universal that is vital, expansive and refreshing.