Saturday, November 28, 2015

Balinese Paintings – Tabing (Part IV)

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

Balinese paintings fall into five categories: flags and banners; (ii) ceiling paintings; (iii) ider-ider (cloth painting in a horizontal strip format); (iv) langse (form of a cloth painting used as a curtain) and, (v) tabing (kind of cloth painting in a rectangular format hung on walls) – Part I, Part II, Part III.

Today’s post is the fourth post on tabings. Tabings are roughly square and are put against the wood back of the raised bed, which is the center of all Balinese household rituals – forming a backdrop to the offerings laid out on such occasions. They are also used in a similar way in temple pavilions. The form covers not only illustrative scenes, but also various kinds of calendars, which are painted within the traditional style.

Tabing – Sita Ordeal by Fire
Size: 177 x 136 cm.
Courtesy of Tropenmuseum.
Comment[1]: Mid 19th Century. Collected in 1915. Paint on cloth.

Rama stands closest to the fire, on the right, making a gesture with his hand that indicates shocked conversation. Behind him is his brother Laksmana and Rawana’s brother Wibhisana. Above them the gods Wisnu and Siwa look on, carried by a divine vehicle. Rama’s monkey allies are all around. On the ramp from which Sita has thrown herself into the fire is her companion Trijata, Rawana’s daughter, and the divine priests.

Before we discuss the stories that are the subject of tabings we need conclude the importance of these paintings in terms of the Balinese culture.

Balinese Paintings and the Balinese Culture[1]
In interpreting the Balinese paintings it is the interaction between the characters that identify the story. The same interactions and the overall composition emphasize the principle of hierarchy or the principle of equality, or sometimes both, but in the mythological paintings there is always another set of interactions that can be identified. These are between the behaviour of the noble and/or political dominant characters and the behaviour of the parekan (i.e. the four servant figures of very importance in the Balinese versions of Hindu epics). The parekan are perpetually present and their actions correspond to those of their nominal masters but in an exaggerated and often grotesque form. For example, in the temptation of Arjuna, while the noble Arjuna remains oblivious of the temptations offered by the nymphs, Twalen and Morda (servants) succumb, without hesitation to the proffered charm of the condong (i.e. female servants that are their counterparts). In battles they engage the parekan of the opposing side, often getting into ridiculous postures and inflicting nasty wounds on each other, whilst the aristocrats and gods fight erect and dignified and when hit, fall and die instead of re-appearing unhurt in the next scene (as do the parekan). In short they provide a commentary, often mocking the refined behaviour of the aristocrats, a commentary, which provides another view of the ideals of humankind. Twalen, Bima and Hanoman (all three are instantly recognizable by the Balinese as characters and not just types of characters) represent an alternative source of power – of the “right”, but essentially grotesque, coarse, even vulgar, open and demonstrative in behaviour and so juxtapose the refine, beautiful and controlled behaviour of the halus (i.e. refined) Ksatria and holy Brahmana. Compared to Vishnu (god) whose means to attaining his ends are often very dubious, Twalen, Bima and Hanoman have a simplistic view of their duty, which they slavishly follow, and despite their lack of refinement, are considered to be morally more superior to many of the more refined noblemen. Bima is of course a Pandawa (one so called tribe in the battle) and as such a Ksatria (one of three high castes), but much emphasis is made of his refusal to conform to polite standards of behaviour and his noisy and extrovert manner. Hanoman is an ape, a non human, whose behaviour wins him a high place despite his origin, the opposite of the hierarchical principle. Twalen, a dethroned god, is portrayed as a Sudra, that is from the bottom of the human hierarchy. These three characters are to a large degree responsible for the success of the “right” and hence to some extent for the preservation of the ordered hierarchy to which they represent as an alternative force.

After Sita’s abduction, Rama and Laksamana with Twalen and Morda start on a journey to search for her.
Courtesy reference [1].

There is a consistent representation of another sort of power presented by a Sudra artist to a Sudra audience. It is a self-mocking form and very Balinese in nature. It is not in a form that is subversive of the hierarchy as such; it co-exists with and to a large extent ignores the posturing refinement of the aristocratic strata in their society, while asserting different values more relevant to village life. It is this underlying tension, which generates a natural sympathy and popularity to these works on cloth.

Hero Bima, dressed in the black and white checked cloth, in battle with several of the demonic figures who inhabit the underworld.
Courtesy reference [1].

In summary, the villagers are theoretically powerless, but in fact, as they are well aware, form the basic maintainers and developers of Balinese culture. The small proportion of aristocrats form a tolerated and even slightly aberrant group, whose literary traditions have made the Balinese, look outside of Bali both for the political legitimisation of their position of power, and for the source of their culture.

Puppet Hanoman. He is a Hindu deity, the White Monkey General, an ardent supporter of the god Rama in his struggle with the demon King Rawana in the Hindu epic Ramayana.
Courtesy reference [1].

Balinese Painting – Tabing (Part IV)[1]

Tabing – Sutasoma (full view).
Size: 124 x 129 cm.
Courtesy reference [2].

Tabing – Sutasoma (detail view).
Courtesy reference [2].

Tabing – Sutasoma (another detail view).
Courtesy reference [2].
Comment[1]: This painting shows a scene towards the end of the long Sutasoma story. At the end of a large battle in which a large number of heroes have been slain, Sutasoma emerges from the town accompanied by his charioteer, to confront the man-eating Purasada. Purasada, who is possessed by the god Rudra, manifests himself in pamurtian form (i.e. a nine-headed ferocious form that the gods can assume when enraged. He rains weapons on Sutasoma, but as the weapons approach Sutasoma, they are all transformed into flowers. Purasada also emits an enormous burst of fire, but this is transformed into amerta (i.e. water of immortality), which revives the dead heroes lying around the battlefield. At the top left of the painting are the gods of the four directions (north, south, east and west): from left to right – Kubera, Yama, Bruna and Indra; scene: a tree of non-traditional type grows beside a pond from which there is a water spout. There is also a small pavilion, and a tree has a long banner lontek mounted on it.

Tabing – Adiparwa: Sunda and Upasunda.
Size: 87 x 87 cm.
Courtesy reference [2].
Comment[1]: This is one of the many stories from the Adiparwa. The two brothers, Sunda and Upasunda, their passions inflamed by the divine nymph, Tilotama, are shown attacking each other. Tilotama and her servant fly off back to heaven, their work having been done. Only the servants of the left are present, since both raksasa (i.e. demon) Kings were essentially evil characters. They are shown diving for cover as the titanic struggle between the brothers breaks out.

Tabing – Plintangan (35-Day Calendar) – full view.
Size: 128 x 162 cm.
Courtesy of reference [2].
Comment[1]: Kamasan work, second half of the 19th Century. Halus technique on very thin European cloth. Very stained, faded and patched.

Tabing – Plintangan (35-Day Calendar) – detailed view.
Comment[1]: This ArtCloth has significant historical interest for the present day viewer, since the sailors in the two prau (i.e. boat) are clearly Chinese (e.g. pig tails) and not European, suggesting that trade with China was evident in those early days.

This calendar appears by its drawing to be a fine piece of Kamasan work. However, the dividing lines between the scenes are simple heavy black lines, instead of more elaborate borders found on most calendars of this quality. At the top there are only a god and a wayang (i.e. art form derived from India’s culture) figure, while the whole bottom row of animals and buta (i.e. class of demons) is missing. It is possible that they may have been cut or torn off. Moreover, the positions of the constellations, “Kartika” and “the water pot” have been reversed.

Tabing – Plintangan (35-Day Calendar) – full view.
Size: 164 x 159 cm.
Courtesy of reference [2].
Comment[1]: Kamasan work by Pan Seken, 1940. Purchased from artist. Very halus work, with fine drawing and writing. Some mildew stains.

Tabing – Plintangan (35-Day Calendar) – a detailed view.
Courtesy of reference [2].

Tabing – Plintangan (35-Day Calendar) – a detailed view.
Courtesy of reference [2].

Tabing – Plintangan (35-Day Calendar) – a detailed view.
Courtesy of reference [2].
Comment[1]: This very fine work shows clearly how an original artist can take a very standardized formula – small scenes whose basic content is dictated by the calendrical system – and make a creative work from it. Each constellation is a perfect little scene. The expressions of the characters are lively.

Tabing – Plintangan (35-Day Calendar) – full view.
Size: 130 x 147 cm.
Courtesy of reference [2].

Tabing – Plintangan (35-Day Calendar) – detailed view.
Courtesy of reference [2].

Tabing – Plintangan (35-Day Calendar) – detailed view.

Courtesy of reference [2].
Comment[1]: This work was commissioned from Manku Mura. He was worried about the correct way of showing the various trees and birds. They are correctly mentioned in the text, but hardly visible, since he hid them behind the nimbus of each god. He did not include the buta at the base, because they were not mentioned in the lontar, which he used as a basis for the calendar text. This work is done in pale colors and his drawings have touches of whimsy (e.g. the monkey riding a horse).

Tabing – 35 Day Calendar.
Size: 44 x 62 cm.
Courtesy of reference [2].
Comment[1]: Kamasan, 1970s. Kasar work (i.e. coarse work) of the cheapest quality. The work was produced for sale to Balinese and sold for the equivalent of 30-50 AUD cents in 1973. It is not a great work of art, yet it contains a lot of the essential information of the bigger and finer calendars that are in existence. The writing is not interpretable – it is pseudo-writing of the illiterate. However, the constellations are identifiable and are in their correct places. Gods are shown at the top and animals at the bottom. The graphic compression that has taken place in a work so small and done so quickly, resulted in a repetition of symbols. For example, “weeping”, “the kris (i.e. ceremonial dagger) suicide” and the “corpses for cremation” are all shown by the same graphic form – probably meant to be a cloth-wrapped corpse. Similarly, three constellations - “many debts” and “false measures” (both usually shown as fights) as well as “the message” - are all shown by a glowing face. Otherwise all the constellations are distinct, and recognisable to anyone who is acquainted with the system (although “the enraged goose” is only differentiated from the eagle at the bottom left, by the color of the head.

[1] A. Forge, Balinese Traditional Paintings, The Australian Museum, Sydney (1978).

[2] The Australian Museum, Sydney, NSW.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

19th Century Silk Shawls from Spitalfields
Wearable Art

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

For your convenience, I have listed below other post in this genre:
Silk Designs of the 18th Century - Part I
Woven Textile Designs In Britain (1750 to 1763) - Part II
Woven Textile Designs in Britain (1764 to 1789) - Part III
Woven Textile Designs in Britain (1790 to 1825) - Part IV

There are a number of publications featuring the textile design collection held in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Recently, Natalie Rothstein’s research into eighteenth/nineteenth century has resulted in a major publication. The images and information contained in this post have been procured from her great book – The Victoria & Albert Museums Textile Collection, N. Rothstein, Canopy Books, Paris (1994). Her research into the collection is comprehensive and insightful. Some of the images and her analysis have been reproduced below.

19th Silk Shawls from Spitalfields
Pure silk shawls were important accessories from the 1780s onwards in England. The Spitalfields shawls had to compete from those from Kashmir and moreover, those at the cheaper end of the market faced competition from printed shawls. An advertisement in the Public Advertiser for January 29th 1790, listed the contents of a deal box which included shawls printed in Glasgow by William Gillispie & Co. The draper, James Blatch, stocked a quantity of these printed shawls at four shilling and 4 pence (4s. 4d.) in 1796.

“Tissued” shawls like those two given below were made in Spitalfields (England) and in Lyon (France) and they were the subject of Stephen Wilson’s experiments with the jacquard loom in 1820.

Detail of a woven silk shawl, Spitalfields, ca. 1825.
Brocaded damask shawl.
Size: 254 x 49.5 cm (100 x 19.5 inches).
Border: 18.4 x 14 cm (7.25 x 5.5 inches).

The coloring of the shawl below may be compared with dated ribbons of the time, held in Coventry City Museum.

Detail of a woven silk shawl, Spitalfields, ca. 1810-11.
Twill ground, with several pattern wefts bound in twill.
Decorated ends.
Repeats: 33 x 14 cm (13 x 5.5 inches).

Thomas Gibson, a master weaver, told the Select Committee of 1823, that tissued shawls were “an article not made anymore”. The delicate gauze shawls lasted a little longer.

Delicate Gauze Shawl.
Long rectangular shawls were the key fashion accessories at the beginning of 19th Century. Flaubert's Madame Bovary, set in early 19th Century (France) often mentions the shawls worn by the style conscious Emma Bovary. The fresh lemon hue in our resplendent shawl is like the afterglow of the sun, still illumining the horizon with its beauty two centuries later.

The two shawls below were of a type, which was could not be sold after 1826, according to the evidence of George Stephens, given to the 1832 enquiry into the silk trade when he discussed gauzes. His evidence was echoed by others. For example, William Bridges put the terminal date for these shawls at 1823.

Detail of a woven silk shawl, Spitalfields, ca. 1815.
Brocaded gauze.
Plain center, decorated ends.
Repeat: 53.3 x 50.8 cm (21 x 20 inches).
Size: 225 x 51 cm (90 x 20.5 inches).

Detail of a woven silk shawl, Spitalfields, ca. 1820.
Brocaded gauze.
Repeat: 17.1 x 41.9 cm (6.75 x 6.5 inches).

The fabric which drove out these exquisite materials was the "Indian” shawl, whether made in France, England, Scotland or Kashmir.

Indian Shawl, ca. 1820s.
Size: Height – 301 cm (118.5 inches); width - 132.1 cm (52 inches).
Long rectangular shawl of wool twill tapestry with cream-colored central field and deep border on each crosswise end with design of row of large boteh motifs composed of dense floral mosaic in dark blue, red, and pale green wool yarns along borders; similar smaller boteh motifs along lengthwise edges; narrow guard bands have meandering floral pattern.
Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Shawl, turnover, embroidered, cashmere/silk, maker unknown, [India/Kashmir], 1820-1840.

[1] The Victoria & Albert Museum Textile Collection, N, Rothstein, Canopy Books, Paris (1994).

Saturday, November 14, 2015

My Southern Land
ArtCloth Exhibition
@ Galerie ‘t Haentje te Paart
Middelburg, The Netherlands

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

My artwork has appeared in a number of exhibitions which have been featured on this blog spot. For your convenience I have listed these posts below.

ArtCloth: Engaging New Visions (Marie-Therese Wisniowski - Curator's Talk)
Sequestration of CO2 (Engaging New Visions) M-T. Wisniowski
Codes – Lost Voices (ArtCloth Installation) M-T. Wisniowski
Unleashed: The Rise of Australian Street Art (Art Exhibition) Various Artists
Merge and Flow (SDA Members Exhibition) M-T. Wisniowski
The Journey (Megalo Studio) M-T. Wisniowski
Another Brick (Post Graffiti ArtCloth Installation) M-T. Wisniowski
ArtCloth Swap & Exhibition
When Rainforests Ruled (Purple Noon Art & Sculpture Gallery) M-T. Wisniowski
When Rainforests Glowed (Eden Gardens Gallery) M-T. Wisniowski
The Last Exhibition @ Galerie ’t Haentje the Paart
Mark Making on Urban Walls @ Palm House (Post Graffiti Art Work)
Fleeting - My ArtCloth Work Exhibited @ Art Systems Wickham Art Gallery
My Thirteen Year Contribution to the '9 x 5' Exhibition at the Walker Street Gallery & Arts Centre
Timelines: An Environmental Journey
Man-Made Fish Kills

’t Haentje te Paart Galerie is situated in the Dutch town of Middelburg.

Front facade of the Galerie ’t Haentje te Paart.

The city of Middelburg dates back possibly to the late 8th Century or early 9th Century. The first mention of Middelburg was as one of three fortified towns (i.e. borgs) erected on Walcheren (then an island) to guard against Viking raids. By far the most imposing structure in Middelburg is the Town Hall. This building personifies grace and elegance. It occupies one side of the market place. It dates from 1468 to 1488, and is a fine example of Burgundian architecture.

Former City Hall of Middelburg (The Netherlands).

Middelburg was granted city rights in 1271. In the Middle Ages it was an important commercial town, trading with Scottish and rising cities of Flanders being considerable. In 1572, after the creation of protestant States was declared, the wealthy and prosperous in Middelburg preferred things as they were, and so remained loyal to Spain. The Zeelanders laid siege to it, but it was not until 1574 that Middelburg yielded. It is now the capital of the province of Zeeland and is situated on the central peninsula of the Zeeland province. The Midden-Zeeland consists of former islands Walcheren, Noord-Beveland and Zuid Beveland. It has a population of about 48,000.

Coat of arms of Middelburg, The Netherlands.

Modern Middelburg has preserved and regained much of its historic and picturesque character. There are lavish 17th and 18th Century merchant houses and storehouses standing along canals, of a similar style as found in cities like Amsterdam. The old city moats are still there, as are two of the city gates - the Koepoort Gate and the Varkenspoort Gate. The streets in Middelburg are irregular and tend to be circular in direction.

A typical canal view in Middelburg, de Londense Kaai.

Galerie ’t Haentje te Paart is situated in Spanjaardstraat 19, 4331 EN Middelburg. The gallery director and owner is Iet Snoeij-van Pelt. For over twenty years the gallery has been exhibiting modern, figurative and abstract work by Dutch and foreign artists using media such as graphics, drawings, water color, gouache, acrylic/oil on canvas, ArtCloth, glass, photography, sculpture, ceramics and spatial designs. It held exhibitions every four or five weeks. It also participated in the monthly - “Art and Culture Route” - in Middelburg. Every first Sunday of the month (except in January) the gallery was open from 13:00 until 17:00. The gallery was also opened on weekdays: Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 14.00 to 16.30 (or by appointment). Sadly, it will close its doors in December of 2015.

"My Southern Land" Exhibition @ Galerie ’t Haentje te Paart, Middelburg, in 2014
In 2012 I was invited by the gallery director/owner, Iet Snoeij-van Pelt, to exhibit my ArtCloth works in her gallery. A number of new works were specially created for this exhibition as well as pieces that had not previously been exhibited in The Netherlands. All of the ArtCloth works are "whole cloth" pieces. Below is a “solo” exhibition titled, "My Southern Land", that I held there from October 5th to November 4th 2014. The exhibition was opened by textile artist Els van Baarle on Saturday October 11th 2014. I also gave a demonstration of my MultiSperse Dye Sublimation (MSDS) technique for those that attended the opening.

Marie-Therese and the poster in the window publicising her exhibition, "My Southern Land" @ Galerie ’t Haentje te Paart.

Demonstrating my MSDS technique at the opening of "My Southern Land" exhibition @ Galerie ’t Haentje te Paart. Gallery patrons were also invited to create their own ArtCloth samples using local flora and low relief items at the exhibition opening.

Answering questions and discussing further in-depth aspects about the works and techniques with the exhibition attendees.

Galerie ’t Haentje te Paart director/owner, Iet Snoeij-van Pelt (left) with Marie-Therese and Iet’s daughter and gallery assistant Monika (right) at the exhibition opening.

Some of the attendees at the exhibition opening. From left: Els van Baarle, Marianne Knops, Johe Nieboer, Marie-Therese Wisniowski, Marijke van Welzen, Iet Snoeij-van Pelt, Monika, and three art patrons.

Images of Artworks in-situ, Full View, Detail View and Artist's Statements
Exhibition Statement
Marie-Therese Wisniowski’s environmental art utilizes man-made dyes (disperse dyes) and fibers (synthetics) in order to make a statement that is consistent and non-contradictory namely: as the human population accelerates toward 9 billion by the year 2050 the deforestation and de-habitation due to human needs must be contained and sustainable in order that flora and fauna - that we do not consume - can coexist with us on the planet. This exhibition explores the anthropogenic impact on the fragile Australian landscape.

Australia is the driest continent on Earth. Native flora and fauna have adapted to the ravages of fire, but competing for the limited resources with non-native plants and animals has made survival increasingly difficult. Endangered animals, such as koalas, can survive in any zoo on Earth, but as their natural habitat disappears due to deforestation, they will speed toward extinction in the wild. Her environmental art becomes a conscious expression and obsession of the fragility of life that is no longer truly unfettered. Will the last flora and fauna wilderness become a plot within a garden surrounded by suburbia?

To achieve her art footprint, Marie-Therese has created a new signature technique called MultiSperse Dye Sublimation (MSDS). This exhibition features her hand printed and hand dyed ArtCloth works employing her signature MSDS technique using disperse dyes, multiple resists, numerous colour plates, low relief items and native flora on synthetic fibres.

Gondwana Retraced I and II - Statement
Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain region is an area of marked geological contrasts and forms part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Areas. Its unsurpassed natural beauty, its cultural significance, its unsurpassed pristine wilderness park features a vast array of natural and cultural features found to be of global significance.

In the north and northeast across the Middlesex Plains, basalt flows formed an extensive plain about 8 to 16 million years ago. The region has been extensively shaped by glacial erosion and deposition over the past 2 million years. The various glaciers, which covered the area have left behind a variety of glacial features. The geomorphological evolution of the region continues to this day.

The area contains ancient plants, which reveal their Gondwanan origins and comprise a diverse mosaic of vegetation communities from rainforest to grassland. To protect this natural environment the Parks and Wildlife Service have in place a Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan to identify, protect, conserve and rehabilitate this area. Ecotourism measures have also been put in place with the ECO Certification Program being a world first. It has been developed to address the need to identify genuine nature and ecotourism operators. It is also now being exported to the rest of the world as the International ECO Certification Program.

The ‘No Trace’ policy ensures that minimal impact techniques are used to reduce the effects that people have on the environment. Minimal impact bushwalking (MIB) allows walkers to enjoy their natural surroundings without causing too much environmental degradation. It's all about walking softly and retaining this pristine wilderness area for generations to come.

Title (left to right): Gondwana Retraced I and II. Parts A & B of a diptych.
Techniques and Media: The artist’s signature MultiSperse Dye Sublimation technique on satin.
Size: 60 cm w x 146 cm h each.

Gondwana Retraced I - Full View.

Gondwana Retraced I - Detail View.

Gondwana Retraced II - Full View.

Gondwana Retraced II - Detail View.

Malyala - Statement
Spring is the peak wildflower season in the area around Perth in Western Australia and the display is a major tourism draw card. People flock to places like Lesueur National Park and the Eneabba sand plain in search of stunning displays of flowers and vistas that change from yellow to white to pink over the spring months.

But new research published in the Journal of Ecology, shows that the region’s rapidly drying climate is making it more difficult for these beautiful landscapes to withstand bushfires, and some wildflower species may die out entirely. Given that rainfall in the region has already declined by 10-15% and projections are for 20-40% more decline by 2100 we may be seeing fewer and fewer wildflowers in the future, and some species may disappear altogether. There are implications for animals too. Species such as honey possums, which rely on nectar from flowers, may struggle. Many reptiles prefer habitats with long fire-free periods, which are likely to become even more scarce.

Title (foreground): Malyala.
Techniques and Media: The artist’s signature MultiSperse Dye Sublimation technique on satin.
Size: 60 cm w x 120 cm h.

Malyala - Full View.

Malyala - Detail View.

Tropical Heat - Statement
Kakadu National park is a protected area in the Northern Territory of Australia, 171 km southeast of Darwin. It covers an area of 19,804 km extending nearly 200 km from north to south and over 100km from east to west.

Kakadu is located in the tropics between 12 and 14 degrees south of the equator. The climate is monsoonal, characterized by two main seasons – the dry season and the wet season. During the dry season (from April/May to September), dry southerly and easterly trade winds predominate. Humidity is relatively low and rain is unusual. The wet season - January to March/April - is characterized by warm temperatures and, as one would expect, rain. Most of the rain is associated with monsoonal troughs formed over Southeast Asia, although occasionally tropical cyclones produce intense heavy rain over localized areas. These weather patterns have created Kakadu’s flora which is the richest in northern Australia with more than 1700 plant species recorded – a result of the parks geological, landform and habitat diversity.

Due to the impact of climate change a very drastic threat is now posed to Kakadu by flooding and sea level rises which in turn means that Kakadu is further threatened by radioactive waste leaks from the Ranger uranium mine.

Title (left to right): Tropical Heat, Tropical Jewels, No Autumn.
Techniques and Media: The artists signature MultiSperse Dye Sublimation technique on satin.
Size: 60 cm w x 120 cm h each.

Tropical Heat - Full View.

Tropical Heat - Detail View.

Tropical Jewels - Statement
The Daintree Rainforest, which lies on the North East coast in Queensland is one of the oldest rainforests in the world - 135 million years old. It is part of the larger area known as wet the tropics and runs parallel to the other Australian wonderland, the Great Barrier Reef. The wet tropics are a world heritage site, covering an area of 900,000 hectares. Queensland's Wet Tropics are one of a handful of areas worldwide, which meet all four natural criteria for World Heritage listing as they:
* Represent a major stage of the earth's evolutionary history.
* Are an outstanding example of ongoing ecological and biological processes.
* Contain superlative natural phenomena.
* Contain the most important natural habitats for conservation of biological diversity. It is home to the greatest number of threatened rare plant and animal species.

Of the world’s 19 primitive plants, 12 are found in the Daintree Rainforest.

Tropical Jewels - Full View.

Tropical Jewels - Detail View.

No Autumn - Statement
Australia is a continent that experiences a variety of climates due to its size. The temperature can range from below zero in the Snowy Mountains in southern Australia to extreme heat in the Kimberley region in the North-West of the continent.

Due to the size of the continent, there is not one single seasonal calendar for the entire continent. Instead there are six climatic zones and this translates as two main seasonal patterns. There is a Summer/Autumn/Winter/Spring pattern in the Temperate zone, and a Wet/Dry pattern in the tropical north which includes the Equatorial, Tropical and sub-tropical zones.

The temperate zone occupies the coastal hinterland of New South Wales, much of Victoria, Tasmania, the South Eastern corner of South Australia and the South-West of Western Australia.

I live in the temperate zone in Lake Macquarie, which is approximately 150 km north of Sydney. In 2014 we had No Autumn – the Australian Bureau of Meteorology recorded that it was the warmest autumn on record in the Sydney and surrounding regions with both maximum and minimum temperature well above the average.

No Autumn - Full View.

No Autumn - Detail View.

When the Rain Comes - Statement
Considered inhospitable, Central Australia's spectacular landscape can burst into bloom in times of heavy rain. Each year tourists descend on the area to capture the brilliant colors of desert wildflowers.

To date, more than 4000 species of native plants have been identified in the Northern Territory, many in the harsh and arid interior.

Due to unusual prolonged rainfall over recent winters, the desert is blooming as the Northern Territory is having higher than usual recorded rainfalls according to the Bureau of Meteorology. The Alice Springs district, which usually averages 200 to 300 mm annually, experienced its highest recorded July rainfall in 24 years in 2011.

"Perhaps due to global warming, there's a greater variation of rainfall," said Peter Latz, a botanist formerly with the NT Government's Department of Natural Resources. "It's been about ten years since our last good season. Normally, it's every 25 years."

Title (left to right): When the Rain Comes, Ginninderra.
Techniques and Media: The artist’s signature MultiSperse Dye Sublimation technique on satin.
Size: 60 cm w x 120 cm h each.

When the Rain Comes - Full View.

When the Rain Comes - Detail View.

Ginninderra - Statement
Ginninderra Falls are located near Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory. Magnificent native cypress pines which are slow to reach maturity and are killed by fire, have been protected and somewhat nurtured by this near impenetrable gorge. ‘Ginninderra’ is derived from an aboriginal word mean ‘sparkling’ or ‘throwing out little rays of light’. The terms encapsulate the beauty of the falls and their surrounds.

The Ginninderra Peppercress is a perennial herb growing to a maximum height of about 20 cm, with one to six branched stems arising from a rootstock. The only extant population of this species occurs in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the site is on the flood plain of Ginninderra Creek. The site was estimated in May 2000 as containing approximately 2,200 plants of this species. The species is not known outside the ACT. It is believed that Lake Ginninderra has declined as a result of modification and destruction of its grassy habitat. The main conservation threats to this species include urban infill, and actions associated with visitor and/or land management activities in the local area; and inappropriate management leading to loss of such habitat.

Ginninderra - Full View.

Ginninderra - Detail View.

Regrowth - Statement
Fossil evidence suggests that fire was a part of the Australian landscape long before the existence of human beings. Natural fires were caused by lightning, occasional volcanic activity or spontaneous combustion probably became more frequent as the Australian continent became drier. It appears that, with the arrival of humans over 50,000 years ago the frequency of fire may have increased. Aboriginal people used fire skilfully, managing various areas to sustain their own survival and that of future generations.

With the arrival of Europeans the fire regimes changed. Fires are now less frequent, but when they do occur they are more intense and often cause a lot of damage with some species never returning.

Fires affect biodiversity - animal and plant, hidden and obvious. There are interactions between plants and fires because plants supply the fuel for fires, which in turn, affect the plants. Animals, too, depend on plants as food, protective cover and nesting or roosting sites. Knowledge of the degree of dependence of fires and animals on plants is important to the understanding of ecosystem function and conservation. The Australian ecosystem benefits from the rejuvenated habitat for many species that survive the now frequent ravages of firestorms.

Title (centre back): Regrowth.
Techniques and Media: The artist’s signature MultiSperse Dye Sublimation technique on satin.
Size: 60 cm w x 120 cm h.

Regrowth - Full View.

Regrowth - Detail View.

Flames Unfurling . . . Life Returning - Statement
The Australian landscape has been and will always be bedeviled by bushfires. To this day, the manner in which Australian biota has tolerated and then exploited bushfires for reproductive advantage is still not understood and so is a topic of debate.

Some argue that the transformative nature of Australian bushfires to effect evolutionary change was due to natural processes such as convection storms and lightening etc. Others argue that - with the introduction of Aboriginals, who colonised a naive continent some 40,000-60,000 years ago - their use of a “fire-stick” management of the Australian landscape triggered the evolutionary and ecological expansion of fire surviving plants.

The “Flames Unfurling . . . Life Returning” diptych is a metaphor to encapsulate the following: in the wake of adversity (e.g. such as the bush fires that devastated Victoria in 2009) life forms adapt to reemerge - whenever and where ever possible.

Title (left to right): Flames Unfurling, Life Returning. Parts A & B of a diptych.
Techniques and Media: The artist’s signature MultiSperse Dye Sublimation technique on satin.
Size: 60 cm w x 120 cm h each.

Flames Unfurling - Full View.

Flames Unfurling - Detail View.

Life Returning - Full View.

Life Returning - Detail View.

Sequestration of CO2 (A&B) - Statement
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a dense colourless gas. Its emission into the atmosphere via the burning of fossil fuels has become a major concern with respect to climate change. Consequently, around the world a new vision is taking root amongst the decision makers, namely, the need to balance opposing processes in order to ensure our ecosystem becomes a steady-state environment. Carbon dioxide plays an essential part in two similar but opposite processes of considerable importance namely, respiration and photosynthesis.

All plants on the Earth contribute to photosynthesis and the subsequent output of both stored chemical energy in the form of biomass and the significant by-product oxygen (O2). Photosynthesis is a daytime activity since it requires light to make it happen. Photosynthesis reaches its maximum CO2 consumption in midmorning, which drops of progressively thereafter.

All plants on the Earth are involved in the respiration process; namely, they also use the stored energy and oxygen in metabolic activities associated with growth and reproduction. Respiration does not need light and so it is a day as well as a nighttime activity. However, nighttime plant respiration generally releases a maximum of CO2 into the atmosphere within a few hours of darkness, which drops progressively thereafter.

For an ecosystem to maintain itself the output of the photosynthesis must be at least equal to the respiratory demands of the system. The diptych - Sequestration of CO2 - explores the similar (but opposing in direction) diurnal patterns of photosynthesis and respiration in an Australian Ecosystem.

Title: Sequestration of CO2 . Parts A & B of a diptych.
Techniques and Media: The artists signature MultiSperse Dye Sublimation technique on satin.
Size: 60 cm w x 300 cm h each.

Sequestration of CO2 (A) - Full View.

Sequestration of CO2 (A) - Detail View.

Sequestration of CO2 (B) - Full View.

Sequestration of CO2 (B) - Detail View.

"Four Australian Seasons" (Bolt Series) - Statement
The "Four Australian Seasons" ArtCloth works represent the cyclic time-lines that form an on-going witness to the development of human habitation on climate change and its effects on the flora and fauna wilderness. The "Bolt" series is inspired by the four seasons. The series highlights the ‘Liquid Sun’ (in the form of a bolt), which is encapsulated by an Australian landscape felt in terms of colors that represent each season. The Australian landscape and its uniqueness is a constant source of inspiration.

Only three of the four ArtCloth works were exhibited due to space restrictions with "Winter Bolt" being omitted.

Title (left to right): Autumn Bolt, Summer Bolt (Four Australian Seasons - Bolt Series). (Parts A, B, C and D of a quadtich).
Techniques and Media: Hand painted and heat transferred using disperse dyes on satin.
Size: 144 cm w x 220 cm h each.

Autumn Bolt - Full View.

Summer Bolt - Full View.

Title: Spring Bolt (Four Australian Seasons - Bolt Series). (Parts A, B, C and D of a quadtich).
Techniques and Media: Hand painted and heat transferred using disperse dyes on satin.
Size: 143 cm w x 220 cm h.

Spring Bolt - Full View.