It's been an inspiring week for making connections - first of all chatting with artist and basketmaker Harriet Goodall from New South Wales, Australia who is in the midst of numerous projects working with locally harvested natural and recycled materials making contemporary baskets and sculptures that speak of her local environment. Harriet writes a very interesting blog and I'm delighted to be today's featured artist: fibre rush.
Harriet is based south of Sydney - so I'm imagining (rightly or wrongly) a vaguely similar landscape to the one I explored over a two months residency with the New England Regional Art Museum north of Sydney during 2000. There I wandered into the surrounding farmland and bush gathering and making everyday with the stuff I found - a wonderful place and an exciting opportunity to play with a huge array of unfamiliar materials.
The Australian influence stayed with me for a long time after my return homewards and I continued to explore the wrappings, bundles, handfuls and packages over several works in the months to come.
'all the things' - third version 2003
Bundles and Ropes one person show, Art & Design Gallery, University of Hertfordshire.
Another great connection this week has been catching up with the inspiring collection of artists and basketmakers that form the Urban Weaver Studio over in Vancouver. Combining the traditional skills of basketmakers with contemporary environmental issues the makers there work with a wide variety of invasive species in need of control - many imported from Europe and some of my favourite materials too! Plants like Yellow Flag, Ivy and Bulrush have become problem species and their harvesting for creative uses is an inspiring model for makers everywhere with environmental concerns.
If your interested in working with some of these materials - watch this space as I'll be posting soon about forthcoming fibre workshops on the Isle of Wight, in Germany and perhaps elsewhere.