It was with a huge amount of excitement that, together with Atelier Studio Gallery in Nelson, I unveiled my latest exhibition, CARETAKERS, last weekend. I have poured my heart and soul into this collection of works for a solid year and I am so ready to release it to you! Starting with my statement, I am going to share a little with you about the thoughts behind these works and where I find my hope for the future. View the full collection here
I have long been fascinated with the vast landscape hidden in the ground beneath our feet. I am drawn to the places where these hidden secrets are revealed to us at the surface, imagining the mechanisms and events that formed them. Since the beginning of time, we have been motivated to find and utilise the resources and treasures hidden within.
This body of work is an exploration of our connection to place and how that connection influences the way that we inhabit the land. It is my belief that the world was created and resourced for us to enjoy and we have been given charge as Caretakers. I’m interested in how we fulfil that role. There is a tension between mankind's innate creativity - which drives us to make ever increasing demands on resources - and our role as caretakers.
“Caretakers” seeks to explore this tension and pose the question; Where is the balance to be found?
Is there a line between what is sacred and what can be sold?
When that which has long been held as sacred becomes a resource with a financial value, can it still be considered sacred?
A spring has always been considered a place of great significance - a life source, a symbol of purity. The location at which water that has been filtered through rock, sometimes for hundreds of years, is at its purest and available for consumption.
In Sacred Resource, I tried to capture a sense of the purity of the water, welling up from the secret places within the earth. Spiritual connection is symbolised by the etherial blue form hovering above the opening.
Now that water is a commodity - we put it into a bottle and sell it - its value takes on a somewhat different significance.
As I followed this line of thinking, I began to think about the value that we place on locations of great natural beauty, or Fabled Places. These are the types of places that have historically held great significance for the people inhabiting the area, either spiritually or maybe in the legends and stories that they pass through generations.
In our information age, these places have become accessible to all, legends and spiritual weight all but trampled under so many pairs of feet.
Fabled Places seeks to capture the mystique of places that are hidden away - concealed by an outcrop or hillside, perhaps. Their mysterious quality enhanced by the stages of the journey required to reach them - a pilgrimage of sorts. Soft, transparent wisps of silk fibre have once again be used to suggest a spiritual presence.
Subterranean Flow references the ground beneath our feet, acknowledging the cultural and spiritual significance that the land has for many in our nation. Both the land itself and the water that flows through it.
While I absolutely believe that the sacred, the beautiful and the fabled places are gifts for us all to enjoy, having increased access to them has to come with an increased sense of responsibility. As a global community enjoying the benefits of greater access to - well, everywhere, we now have responsibility for….everywhere! What does that look like as we go about our day-to-day global lives?