For us city dwellers to carve out some down time and immerse yourself in the landscape of the place is a treat.
I have been coming to Bundanon Trust as artist in residence from about ten years, on a regular basis. Indeed I have developed my practice and thinking around plants and human relationships in those studios (see this posts from my old blog here>). I have honed my botanical ID skills on those walks and fields, and much of what I learned by observing here became the background of what I do now as a storyteller.
This time I am here with the Big Fag Press crew, for our annual retreat/get together/print/eat/talk bonanza.
For our residency I decided to revisit a printing techniques that I learned while working with Italian artist Giorgia Severi last year. A simple, basic yet highly effective calcography.
Taking advantage of the resident etching press I brought together my passion for plants and stories related to them, and printing, by immortalising the species on a series of mono prints.
They are stunning, the sap intermixing with the ink, giving hints of the natural pigmentation. The feature of the subject impressed so faithfully on the papers that it could well come across as a photographic process.
From left to right: Amaranths,Food+ Medicine; Anagallis arvensis, Medicine; Biden pills, Food+ Medicine; Chenopodium album, Food; Conyza, Food+ Medicine; Malva, Food+ Medicine; Malva, Food+ Medicine; Plantago lanceolata, Food+ Medicine; Sida rhombifolia, Food+ Medicine; Solanum nigrum, Food+ Medicine; Acetosa sagittata, Food.
Each of the plants is well know to me, and everyone else for that matter, as I select common weeds. The reason to select such plants is the basis of my practice outside of what I do with the Big Fag Press. I am a storyteller, and I talk about old stories of partnerships, between humans and botanical species. Stories of growth and evolution, mixing in folk lore and science, highlighting co-existence and struggle. In many ways my passion for telling stories is the backing bone for my long standing commitment to the Big Fag Press. We have a big, old school, slow machine. But it can tell stories.
Some one recently said that crafting the new narratives that the world needs to embrace is singularly the most important job a creative can do in this time of change. I -rather than craft new stories- retell the old ones, as the narratives that we need to embrace have been told already.
Thank you Big Fags, so fun. Thank you Bundanon, so needed.