Monday, April 25, 2016

Seeds Through an Artist's Lens workshop

This weekend I was lucky enough to spend two days working with artist and seedonaut Sophie Munns
Sophie's Seeds Through an Artist's Lens workshop was held at the Royal Botanic Gardens here in Melbourne. Sophie has been studying seeds for a long time and has had a number of residencies at seed and plantbanks in Australia and at Kew Gardens. As well as her studies and interpretations of seeds through her art in a range of media, Sophie's work with seeds and her workshops encourage discussion and knowledge-sharing about biodiversity, climate change and the stark choices we as the dominant species on this planet have to make if we really do want to avert disaster. 
While most of the weekend was spent focused on art, Senior Conservation Botanist Neville Walsh very kindly gave up his Saturday afternoon to come and talk to us about his work, especially the loss of grasslands in western Melbourne as the suburbs continue to sprawl, and the impact of climate change on alpine regions in Victoria, which have had unprecedented numbers of bush fires and habitat loss in the last few years.
I learned so much at Sophie's workshop (not least that Melbourne has a seedbank). We drew with sticks and ink

we did 4 sketches in 5 minutes of our chosen seed pod
and made concertina books. The first book had to be painted using colours we wouldn't usually choose - this was a challenge for all of us. I chose magenta, yellow and and acidy green, all of which set my teeth on edge as I squeezed them onto my palette.
For the second book we could go back to our comfort colours and that felt much better.
Then it was drawing with ink and folding into concertina books.
This rather Mallee fowl nest of papers is the work I produced over the weekend 
An excellent workshop - if you get the chance to work with Sophie grab it with both hands.

More information on Sophie Munns' work here

and the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria seedbank here


Velma Bolyard said...

so excellent! i have wanted to work with sophie, or just meet her for ages. i know that this will enrich your work in ways you don't even know.

Margaret Cooter said...