Anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with me will know too well how passionate I am about anything botanical – especially when it involves a long bushwalk in spring when the flowers are out across sandstone country of the Dharawal Nation.
I also love print-making (albeit I haven’t done a print for a really looooooong time). This year I thought: “right, i’m going to set aside some me time and prepare some plates for printing gifts for Christmas”, drawing upon some of the flowers that I found during my travels along the coast as inspiration. I am highly strung at the best of time, but especially when preparing a plate. For me, It’s not a spontaneous or expressive medium; I spend more time carefully planning out the design of the plate as I do in carving my design – after all, one wrong cut and the whole motif is potentially ruined. I usually nut out a design on cardboard and sketch pads before applying tool to board, but i always lose the good ones or cover them up with too much scribble and mess! I decided to work on some digitally so that I could play with colour and form more freely – and delete any scrappy ones…
Whilst preparing these templates I discovered something lovely: it was the process of coming up with the design itself that was rewarding and expressive, and not necessarily the final carved and printed image. In fact, the templates are the artworks now, and I have no intention of preparing a plate of them.
My next step is to curate a set of about 10 images and print a batch (signed and limited edition) for sale. I don’t know how much to sell them for, but what I do know is that any profits I make will go entirely to a managed fund to support undergraduate botanical research at UOW. I do my research on a shoestring and it’s largely funded from my own wage. I regularly take on three Honours students a year and I want to contribute to their important work in vegetation conservation… i’d love feedback on whether or not this a viable proposition.
In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy my work below: