lost memories gone forever and works in progress that disappeared from trace
I am working on a personal art project as part of my PhD creative research.This involves going for long walks in Vondel Park in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and collecting leaves to make into cyanotype and botanical prints back at the house boat I am calling home . The Dutch Maple leaves and other botanical mysteries I gather are quite different to the gum and grevillea leaves I find at home.
Theres a feeling I get when I’m walking amongst the maples, which is one of the most common trees found in the Netherlands. Like a dutch equivalent to the gum. Every morning I go for a walk and collect leaves to take back to my makeshift art studio, a houseboat in the Amsterdam canals.
Every day I feel more at home, like the maples are my welcoming friend.
example of Dutch Delft, at Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 2016
I decided the best way to connect with the place was to focus on the three species of maple leaf found there. I enjoyed the unfamiliar shape and texture. Walking every day in Vondel park, the leaves became my ally and inspiration. This was when I resolved the final missing link with how I could bring together the separation that I felt needed to be resolved between my underater basket weaving body of work and the ‘from Arhnem to Arhem work”. SO essentily, I have gone in a full circle, starting and commencing the creative research in the Netherlands.
With this question of place and belonging in mind, I see the need to establish creative ties with my ansetoral lands as a kind of bringing together pieces of a puzzle, albeit a puzzle that may never be completed.
The blue and white, representing the blue and white delft pottery, has come to represent my dutch heritage, something that is unfamiliar, but a part of who I am. It also represent my passion and love of the sea and is the prominent colouring of cyanotype print making. The earthy tonesbrepresent, Australia, where I was born. The Arnhem to Arhnem works are a thorough investigations of ways to bring these two worlds together.
To achieve this, I realised needed to set perimeters for the final exhibition by limiting my focus to a set amount of floura to focus on. These are my three favourite Australian plants- grevilleas, eucalyptus and mangrove. Throughout my life, the shape,smell and presence of these plants give me comfort and inspiration. Therefore, the three most common species of Maple( Pictured) found proficiently throughout the Netherlands are my focus for Dutch plants.
Common Dutch maple
some of the hundreds of prints on paper and canvas made using plant dying techniques along with cyanotype processes with the Dutch maple leaves found in Vondel Park, Amsterdam, September, 2010- 2016 , these are all gone now, taken from my studio