I have a background in anthropology, archaeology and museum practice. Consequently, the ideas around collecting and the display of objects in museums, books, and domestic settings within my own heritage informs my work. These are collections in the broadest sense; artefacts, ceramics, textiles, plant materials, paintings etc.
There are two main threads to my work. One involves environmental concerns surrounding human impact on plants and water. The use of plant-based material has been a constant part of my practise. I work with botanical material as well as the variety of ways flowers, seeds, and leaves are represented historically through textiles and surface design. The importance of plants cannot be underestimated in terms of our need for physical, emotional and spiritual sustenance.
The second thread focuses on the ways identity and history is expressed through the objects individuals and institutions gather and display. Not only are the collections of interest but also the rituals relating to collection and display, the symbolism and story telling that these evoke. These works reflect my interest in the notion of Wunderkammer or Cabinets of Curiosity. The term ‘cabinet’ originally referred to a room rather than furniture. Wunderkammer or Cabinets of Wonder have a long history stretching back to the Renaissance. They were the precursor to the modern museum. Wunderkammer held collections of objects gathered from the natural world, including genuine objects and fakes juxtaposed with made objects and works of art. They were often presented as a symbolic microcosm of the world: a collection of objects that allowed for the shared exploration of ideas and encouraged curiosity about the world.
Born in Invercargill and now resident in Bannockburn I teach drawing and stone carving at Otago Polytechnics Cromwell Campus as well as private painting classes. My interest in history and heritage extends to working as a volunteer and writing newsletters for The Cromwell Heritage Precinct.
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