In April I was supposed to be exhibiting work as part of a group exhibition in Sydney. I would have missed the end as I was off to London and Spain, to spend time with my daughter and her family. Of course, none of these things happened. My overseas trip is on hold for the foreseeable future, but the exhibition has been re-scheduled for November, which is a great outcome.
The exhibition is called ‘Living Textures’. Thirteen artists were asked to be part of the submission, chosen for their interest in the natural world. We have printmakers, ceramicists, painters, artists who make small baskets, and more. The works will all relate in some way to the venue where the exhibition will be held – Brush Farm. This is a historic house in Sydney’s north west, originally built by Gregory Blaxland, one of our early explorers, in 1820. He was something of an entrepreneur, experimenting with growing grapes for wine, raising different varieties of sheep for wool and supplying beef to the colony. In later years the house was used as home for ‘wayward’ boys, and after that girls, then mothers and babies. Now it is owned by the local council and is used for exhibitions, weddings and so on and has been restored.
The inspiration I took was from the plants and wildlife that are to be found in and around the area, many of which would have been there in the time of Blaxland, and of course when the occupants of the land were the aboriginal people for thousands of years before. Most of the works I will be exhibiting will be pen and ink and watercolour – this is a set of nine postcard sized drawings, each presented in a shadow box frame. Having extra time for the preparation of this exhibition has given me the chance to add to the works I was planning, and refine some of my choices, so I think there will be a few more new works still to come, and some of those I had set aside for the exhibition won’t make it.