This Knowledge – Now
This Knowledge – Now
Today’s Breadcrumbs When I began working as an Artist I used to follow the breadcrumbs and just make whatever I was called to, there were no exhibitions or pre-conceived shoulds of what this might look like. In the last 10 years I have gratefully had the opportunities to create exhibitions and new work for shared shows, and I love the practice this has allowed me to develop, there has also been a morphing of the creative process into a planned outcome focused process. Now I am turning back to my original way, of allowing the process to unfold by just following the breadcrumbs, the synchronistic ideas, events and intuitive actions.
Coming Home This Knowledge feels like coming home, a maturing of this cycle, coming back to the possibility of what is unknown, the idea of writing a grant for a project with an open ended outcome only came into its own as I began to trust my own creative process and voice. The short version of what I am working on is the creative documentation of stories and connection of plants in South East Queensland. This Knowledge will include research, collaboration, storytelling, performance, medicinal, spiritual and process based explorations of dye, ink, printing and fibre. This process will end in January 2023, at which time I will collate any concepts and possibilities and apply to secure funding, curatorial support & venues for a future creative story to unfold.
Mentors Part of this project is being able to pay awesome inspiring people to work alongside me which allows for both of us to cross-pollinate, grow and explore ideas and processes. Jenai Hooke, who is an incredibly knowledgeable plant women and textile dyer, and Lisa Chandler another plant lover, researcher and senior Curator, who has a vast amount of experience in cross-cultural projects will both be working with me during this time.
Maroochy Botanic Gardens One of the most important parts of this is having permission to work within the Maroochy Botanic Gardens, using the gardens as a guide and one of the sentient counsels helps me create a container to work within. I visit the gardens regularly and have permission to work with the pruning’s and plant material that has been cleared to the compost waste area. Working in a familiar bush setting, allows for the stillness and a place for deep listening, both are fundamental in the process of working with plants.
Creative Process The process of writing down an idea/project to the juicy stuff, the creative flow, the being in the moment, the timeless space where you just ARE. This is what I’m going to share with you in my online journal as we go along. It’s the behind the scenes process of following the breadcrumbs, doing the research. Letting go of past should’s and lived experiences and allowing the medicine to flow. This is how I work, I love researching and giving this more time and energy as I get older is pure magic, the plants are my teachers and guides, these are the old ones, the timeless ones, you never know what they might bring up when you deeply listen.
Deeply Listening The process of deeply listening is a space, and it feels clumsy saying Mystic or Shamanic because there are so many attachments to those words. However it is a space of the more than human, the imaginal world, and also the very real here and now of my own physical body and life events that are happening. These two spaces collide in this creative research process, I will give you an example to ground you into what I am sharing.
Eucalyptus The first day I went for my walk in the Maroochy Gardens, part of the process for me is collecting plant material, and this is whatever the garden is giving in abundance, or showing me. On this day it was a very windy winters day, the eucalyptus debris was everywhere, there was nothing else needed for me to understand except that on that day I was being called to work with Eucalyptus. In my personal life I was being introduced to a new book ‘Stillness is the Key’ by Ryan Holiday, in which the philosophy of Stoicism was brought to life. See how these collide, and then as I look at the piles of plant material that I have brought home over the last few weeks, each plant has a memory code a mnemonic wisdom that is embodied for me in the plant.
Research and Bread Crumbs From Eucalyptus and Stoics, I sit in my studio and let the stillness be with me, this is a very uncomfortable place, a place of fear, and judgement of the little voices that say ‘What exactly are you doing?’ ‘This isn’t work’ ‘No-one will ever be interested in this’… and I work past this staying with myself. I light a candle call myself present, ask for guidance from Eucalyptus and for what is wanting to be seen. Watching my thoughts, then the flow begins, there is an internal dialogue of wanting to be distracted, go get a cup of tea, play with the dog, reply to that email I forgot about…. Watching the thoughts and letting them flow, and then the creative imaginal world opens, I write notes, look up references in the books I have in my studio, google specific ideas and concepts, jotting down points, and so the rabbit hole opens and the bread crumbs appear. This is what I will be sharing with you in the following journal entries here on my website. Each plant I work with I will build a portfolio of information, this will then be what I use to create….. The hardest thing is staying in the moment not jumping to an outcome or a conclusion…. Just staying with the process of gathering and research.
Sharing the Medicine The Journals of flow and journey with each plant will be here in this journal and in my newsletter, this is for you to have your own experience of the plant. Journeying with a plant is a unique space for each one of us, I firmly believe that the medicine is unique to you, in the same way a placebo works, and the context of quantum physics creates an outcome only based on your own imaginal space of what you think will happen, so does a plant work it’s magic and healing. There will be a public presentation and some community workshops early in 2023. If you would like to keep in touch with all of this and are curious to know more subscribe.
Plants that became part of this exploration Cats Claw, Lantana, Cotton Tree, Eucalyptus, Wattle and Tea Tree. Each of these has a seperate post that shares more details.
This project was made possible by funding from Arts Queensland. I am deeply grateful for the successful grant application and all the supporters who wrote letters to give outsider insights and support for this project.