Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Work in Progress

Although my focus for the residency at the Mt.Coot-tha Botanic Gardens is the Australian Plant Communities; I often set up a portable table in the Japanese Garden to work on ideas. Not unexpectedly I have been influenced by the order, form and beauty of the Japanese Garden. I can see a seperate body of work developing from observations in this place, so far I have made some sketches of underlying plant forms. The strong graphic contrasts of foliage and plant structure appeals to my interest in pattern and layering.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May Diversity in the Botanic Gardens

Tree bark diversity was a feature of my walk around the Australian Plant Communities area of the Mt.Coot-tha Botanic Gardens this month. Many trees were shedding bark, revealing fresh layers of contrast with the older more weathered layers. Some peeling bark hung in long thin strips, other trees 'flaked' or discarded bark in random patches. I find the diversity between species wonderful and an inspiration.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Rain = Green.....and Red

With all the rain in Brisbane over the last week, it was no surprise to find the Botanic Gardens at Mt.Coot-tha full of vibrant shades of green. Golden lime, glossy emerald and lush meadow green filled the leaf canopy. There were also accents of red in new growth sprouts.

Thank you

Nicola Moss. 'Carbon Credit ?', Nicola Moss.©2009. 60 x 60cm.
A BIG Thank you to everyone who attended the opening night of 'Greenbelt' on Friday and my artist talk on Saturday at Doggett Street Studio. It was wonderful to see you all at the exhibition and hear your comments. I greatly appreciate your support and words of encouragement.
Thank you!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I am fascinated by the patterns and structures of spider's webs. One indication of the arrival of warm Summer weather is the large Golden Orb Spiders' webs that appear strung across wide gaps between trees and structures. I always imagined spiders went round and round in circles when they spun their webs. But when I looked closely at the Golden Orb's I could see a 'U' turn at the end of each strand before it headed back in tram-track like lines.
Lately a very delicate dome shaped web structure has caught my eye. I haven't identified the spider yet, but the webs are incredibly fine.
Recently my friend Susan Buret made a Nettle Web Installation during her residency at Ragdale, near Chicago, in the United States. Susan's work captures beautifully the contrast between detailed, delicate web areas and the more structural strands of support.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

May Gifts

I was outside this morning taking photographs of some seeding grass that was glowing in the morning light. Heading back indoors I noticed a dark shadow in the bottle tree - a Pheasant Coocal - joy. I have seen these birds perched in the bottle tree on previous occassions, and love their striking feathers and prehistoric-like head features. Pheasant Coocals have a very distinctive 'whooping' call that is unmistakable and lets you know when they are around. Often heard at night or early morning, the loud 'whoop - whoop- whoop' call is not everyones cup of tea, especially if sleep is disturbed.
Their long feathered tails can make them rather clumsy in flight, with them tending to crash into trees on landing. My highlight for the day, now back to work.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Canopy Patterns

There is a huge variety of leaf and plant structure evident in the Australian Plant Communities Area at the Botanic Gardens. When viewed in silhouette against the sky, wonderful patterns are created by the canopy.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Radio Talk

'Lines Drawn - Hoop Pine Country', Nicola Moss.©2009. Acrylic, pigmented ink and laser print on plywood panel.

On Friday I received an unexpected invitation to speak with Richard Lancaster as part of his Culture Vulture show on Brisbane radio 99.7fm. We discussed my artist in residence experience at Mt.Coot-tha Botanic Gardens; a wonderful opportunity to work on site and engage with visitors to the gardens. Then we talked about my upcoming solo exhibition Greenbelt opening at Doggett Street Studio on Friday 22nd May at 6pm. The exhibition features works exploring the role people play in shaping habitat, reflecting on how we balance competition between conservation and development during a time of growth. If you missed our chat on Friday, you are welcome to join me at Doggett Street Studio on Saturday 23rd May, 11am, when I present a talk about works in the Greenbelt exhibition and my ongoing research project.
The Greenbelt exhibition was sponsored by the Janet Holmes à Court Artists’ Grant Scheme. The Janet Holmes à Court Artists’ Grant is a NAVA initiative, made possible through the generous sponsorship of Mrs Janet Holmes à Court and through the support of the Visual Arts Board, Australia Council for the Arts. Thank you.

The exhibition essay - 'Power vs. Vulnerability. A SEARCH FOR BALANCE', is written and sponsored by Susan Buret. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Flowers, Seeds and Pods

It is a vibrant time in the Australian Plant Communities area of the Mt.Coot-tha Botanic Gardens. Many trees are flowering or have fruit and seeding pods forming. Beautiful sprays of delicate pattern and bold colour punctuate the canopy.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Patterns in nature are a great source of inspiration. Leaves, seed pods, fruit and branches create connected patterns when seen in mass. These mass patterns can be quite distictive and recognisable. When I develop artworks featuring a particular plant species, I will often develop layers with both detailed elements and mass patterns. My work is not botanical art but I am interested in the individual features and characteristics that distinguish one plant from another.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Work in Progress

Working in a softer palette of colours this month. Acylic and ink on assorted papers. Detailed elements of vegetation forms still to be added to some pieces.