Saturday, November 1, 2008

Environment as influence.

Ever since a bowl I made (landscape bowl) earlier in the year, I've wondered how much the environment has an influence on my work. I've always known it has an influence to some degree. In the first year of my first tertiary education in photography, we were all told "everything you ever see in art is a copy from nature" bold statement one would think, but if you look around (especially wall paper and grandma's couch) much of that is true.
I moved from Melbourne to central Victoria just over two years ago. Not long after moving, I started using local stoneware clay. More of a physical influence than a visual one, but that has caused a visual influence on my glaze and decoration. To both the stoneware and porcelain. I suppose the need to dress up the stoneware has made me look for new glazes and decoration. And that together with walks through a local forest has helped influence my colour palette. The first glaze I worked on was a blue
celadon, quite vivid/striking. I then moved to a subtle grey blue celadon on the stoneware; it comes out as a pale green on the porcelain. To this I've added iron oxide and shino horizontal brushwork. I would suggest that those choices have been influenced by the local forest.
Central Victoria looks like extending its twelve year drought. It was looking hopeful during winter. The rainfall was just below average. I almost got tired of it. I certainly learnt how to use an umbrella again! It took me a few days to find it though. When I lived in Melbourne I had a whole extended family of umbrella's. But, here in Central Victoria it has not rained properly for months, plants are dying again. So I guess iron oxide and shino glazes will remain part of my glaze list.
I had to add this photo as there are some wonderful flowers in the Whistick State forest. Against the conditions of a harsh environment they survive. Really I don't know how some of these plants do it. I dug up a little Acacia I planted in my own garden at the start of winter. It was still standing proud after weeks of hot sun and little attention from my watering can. The soil it was in was almost aqua phobic. It's in a big pot now and watered every day, it must be wondering what the heck happened.
*This photo of power lines and pole is a reference/homage to Sophie Milne and her observation of the environment as influence.
Once there pointed out; dang things are everywhere now.

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