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.