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blue mountains landscapes

There is a mountain range down the whole of Australia’s East Coast, which runs from tropical rain forest in the far North, to alpine snow country in the South. The Blue Mountains are roughly parallel to Sydney but further inland, and only a little more than 3000 feet high, but the whole area is a vast complex interwoven series of plateaux fissured with deep canyons, because our continent is so old that everything is worn down.

Blue Mountains Landscapes

We have dry forests, temperate rain forest and vertical swamps, which seem to go on for ever, with a string of small communities running through them like beads on a string... and the mountains really are blue -  because of the volatile oils which are diffused from the foliage of most of our native plants and trees.

I have  been working from this area for thirty years, but because I am short sighted and also afraid of heights, I do a lot of work about the forest floor, which is rich and diverse in all its seasons. I work small, because I’m a natural miniaturist, and even when I do larger works they are usually made up of a number of smaller elements.

Apart from black and white linoprints, these works all include my own handmade papers. I make unsized papers; papers which look like bits of earth; I cast paper in relief, and paint, print and stitch most works.

The forest floor is really beautiful, with tiny lichens like black-edged green lace, exotic toadstools and little secret orchids. Our plants are often insignificant until you look closely. The ground will be dry and dusty one minute, and then after rain, it will be covered with wonderful mosses. The eucalypts drop their bark in long skeins, pine trees and hakeas drop needles, and all of these linear elements will all end up in amazing piles after rain washes them downhill. And we have lots of downhill. I was so fascinated by these that I ended up learning basketry in order to know how to use some real plant elements in my works. And I have  found myself using groups of diagonal lines in a lot of my other pieces because of the place where I live.