Another week in the oddest of times. The past 7 days have been dominated by unrelenting rain and for the third time this year the south east of the state saw flooding from the deluge. This is not normal. There is no doubt that we are seeing the results of climate change and it's scary. It is humid in mid May and that is very strange. I spent half of today checking the house for mould as it's been a problem all over the city since these newest rains. You know, living in the subtropics you get used to damp days and humidity, but this is something else. There are people that have dealt with three flooding incidents this year and we're not even half way through it yet. There is a sense that the world needs to act on climate change faster than ever now. There is also a sense that no-one in authority understands the urgency. It leads one to feeling helpless, tired and despairing. Some days I feel like there is little left in my tank for thinking about these big existential issues. How does one small individual move through western life in a way that isn't destructive to the world? It isn't lost on me that I'm part of the problem, in spite of wanting to be part of the solution. It's all so complicated.
So, we do what we can and turn our focus on those things that fill us with hope and motivation and love. The greatest of those things is nature herself and it has been of great comfort to me to go and be in wild spaces. In fact, sometimes being outside with my feet on the earth is the only time I feel really, fully alive. There are wonders and dangers and obstacles galore and one must keep one's wits about them whilst exploring the wilds. I am always drawn to the secrets of the forest, especially to the tiny world of fungi that grows on the decaying matter on the forest floor. Here are some recent phone images of mushrooms and fungi I've found whilst out and about:
I can't say why I'm so drawn to fungi and mushrooms except to say that I find the hunt much like looking for shells on the beach. I can't collect the fungi but taking photos of them seems like I am gathering a collection of them all the same. I think I should place all of these mushroom and fungi images in a folder on my computer somewhere so that I can reference them in the future. Because of course, these little fungi friends have jumped into my work and I have found myself sketching mushrooms on several occasions. I drew this sweet earth whale below whilst watching TV one evening...
In arty news I have just taken several works to the framers to be be framed for an upcoming community art exhibition in June. There will be more on that to come but I am really excited to exhibit some work after a long hiatus. I've been reliant on the online and social media world for displaying my work for such a long time, but I really want to transition back into exhibiting in physical spaces. There is so much about my work that gets lost when shown digitally, like texture and detail. There is nothing like being intimate with physical works. I'm determined to find some new opportunities to exhibit when we move over to the West coast.
Finally, my art inspiration for this week is Kiki Smith. I have loved Kiki Smith's work since studying my BFA at university. She was an artist that I would reference frequently when attempting to contextualise my work. Her exploration of feminine mythology and the human relationship with the natural world, especially that of animals, really fascinated me. I also just loved her aesthetic - lots of dark imagery, scratchy lines and complex mark making form these beautiful images that sometimes seem mystical or religious.
I relate to her on so many levels, from feeling like a maker, not enjoying 'centered' work, being melancholy as a child and 'seeing' things that others overlook. In fact, this video makes me feel validated in so many ways and reminds me that art can be anything and can come from anywhere, but is especially potent when we allow the art to come through us.
Catch ya later! xx