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AnneLawsonArt My art work

Another mangrove collage

The theme for my exhibition is habitats that lie between the land and the sea, Between Worlds. They are often habitats that have been disregarded, so drained and built over. We have come to learn, at a high cost, how precious they are.

Mangroves fit in perfectly here. They are muddy and difficult to move through, not glamorous or beautiful, but oh so important. They are natural water filters and breeding grounds for many fish species. Ecosystems are complex.

However all along the coast of Australia–and I am sure many other parts of the world–they have been seen as wasteland, land better used as marinas and development.

The aerial photo that inspired my collages was of mangroves in Westernport Bay, a RAMSAR site. Close to this precious area is a gas terminal, which wanted to expand and have more ships come though the Bay. There was a lot of opposition, which fortunately put enough pressure on the government to stop the expansion. Fortunately we still have this wonderful area for fish and birds and weedy seadragons.

The bush shapes for this collage were created with various papers — tissue paper, photocopy paper, brown paper and the paper florists wrap flowers in. I printed the colours on the gelli plate. After I torn out the shapes I layered them to add interest and extra texture. You can see some of the layers in the photo.

For the background I scraped paint over an A3 sheet of photocopy paper. Then I tore it into strips and glued them back down. I like the sense of movement it gives.


I respectfully acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land on which I live – the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung People of the Kulin Nation, their spirits, ancestors, elders and community members past and present.

14 replies on “Another mangrove collage”

I am so pleased that you like the textures. One of the joys of doing collage is working out what shapes and colours will create the look ~ rather like your art quilts, I imagine. Thanks for the response to the Acknowledgment of Country. It is a long overdue addition to my blog. This week is NAIDOC week (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee), so it was well due. I intend to add it to each post.

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That made me smile Kathy! They are places that many people would find ugly, but they do have a quiet, peaceful charm to them ~ and so very important.

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Yes, mangroves to view them always look so unkempt and just not nice to even consider them – but when you understand their function in our world, you realise that are worth keeping and cared for. They often become garbage bins of flotsam like plastic bags and other garbage that should never have been into the ocean in the first place…
Love how your exhibit may well show the viewer that “mangroves are VIP”

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That is all so true, Catherine. As well as filtering the natural world, they are cleaning up all our detritus too. I hadn’t thought about it like that. I haven’t been able to visit any over the last year, to find the elements I wanted to show, so I was inspired by an aerial photo.

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Mangroves are viewable in parts of Auckland including if you drive across the harbor bridge and along the estuary motorway towards the North Shore. When the tide is out a muddy strange forest and when it’s in, little wavering sticks, sometimes with no green topping (not quite like leaves)…looking like aliens have arrived.

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