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The Visitors Series - Video Catalogue

I recently found time to revisit an idea that emerged this time last year at Noosa Open Studios.

Taking part in the event in 2021 was a first for me, I had no idea what to expect, who would come (if anyone!) and how it would all go. But I signed up and leapt in with both feet, knowing that somehow an energy shift would take place, though I wasn't sure how it would happen or what it would look like, but I was up for the adventure.

As part of my setting up I decided to put out paper, mark making tools and inks on a table outside the door. I encouraged my visitors to leave a mark or impression on the paper on their way out. At the time I envisaged using them as a starting point for new work that was infused with the energy of having so many people pass through what is usually a very solitary space. I had no idea where this idea was going to lead, but it's now reached it's destination and culminated in two new mixed media paintings.

As I worked on these pieces the sentiment that kept rising to the surface was 'energy'. The visitors that walked through my door, brought such a positive energy with them in bucket loads which was almost overwhelming - but in a very good way!

Having parked on the street and people leisurely wandered down the lane way towards the studio, which gave them time to take in the atmosphere and absorb the serenity; almost everyone commented on the bush surrounds of the studio, with our beautiful big old growth Scribbly Gum trees, the native flowering shrubs and the abundant bird life. I knew I wanted to capture something of this in these paintings. This guided my colour palette - the silver of the tree trunks and the greens of the plants and the pops of colour from the grevillias and heliconias.

I began in my usual chaotic way, unsure what would emerge and just let the works evolve. I was struck by the energy in the contrasting marks made by my enthusiastic visitors and began cropping interesting sections from the papers, which naturally settled horizontally across the surface. I also found some old collagraph prints I did years ago. I pulled them out and found 5 or 6, some coloured, some black and white. I pondered my creative journey since these were made and wondered about using sections of them in these new pieces. They were looking pretty aged and studio worn but were some lovely linear and circular elements that seemed appropriate to incorporate. Combining a past journey of mine with my visitors journey, all started to make sense emotionally and visually.

And so to the energy which came with such unexpected force during Open Studios. Horizontal 'energy lines' began to emerge in sections of the paintings which got stronger as I worked. I responded to this flow by accentuating this movement and encouraging a dynamic feel to each piece. The golden orbs speak to me of discovery and the warmth and positivity I felt from my visitors. The dark areas in which they sit, are to me reminiscent of the stillness and calm which came to me once the studio was closed at the end of the day, though the pulse of energy still felt so tangible and strong.

Check out my video catalogue to learn more about this project, the painting process and see the finished artworks.

Arrival will be on show at the Studios 100 exhibition at the Cooroy Butter Factory Arts Centre

2-11 September

Discovery will be on display at the Wallace House Hub for the duration of Noosa Open Studios 1-9 October.

The Visitors - new paintings
The Visitors - new paintings

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