Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
I witnessed my first 'toadkill' as it happenned while at the Botanic Gardens. A crow was picking up a toad in its beak and throwing it back down on the ground until it had the toad on its back. Then it planted one claw firmly on its body and proceeded to peck relentlessly at the toads mouth. I actually felt sorry for the toad as I watched, and at the same time marvelled at adaption and the 'learning' of the crow to make a meal of this previously unpredated species.
In 2008, as part of my inhabitat exhibition, I painted the above work, titled 'Toadkill, Pushing Up Grass'. On my daily morning walk round the garden that Summer I would often find fresh killed toads on their backs with guts sprawled. I wasn't sure if it was the crows or kookaburra's that had worked out how to kill the toads without poisoning themselves. It was the first year I had noticed these kills occurring. Around the same time radio national had a talk from a landcare group. They had trialed putting a 'toad in the hole' when tree planting and found it improved the tree growth. Blood and Bone, life returned to the earth to feed another.
Not surprisingly, I was inspired to use rich red as part of the colour palette in my works on paper. And make a small arrangement of fallen leaves.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
This month I started working at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt.Coot-tha as the Artist in Residence for 2009. Works during the year will be focused on the Australian Plant Communities area, comprising nine different rainforest ecosystems. Works are beginning with a series of drawings on paper responding to observations and studies of diversity in the canopy environments.
I took this photo of my portable work table whilst packing up at the end of a day at the gardens. I was attracted to the 'accidental' marks left on the cover sheet from a day of activity. The feathers were collected from an open grass area in the morning.