Tuesday, 27 October 2009


the other evening I walked into the garden
and, using a knife, I cut a bunch of silverbeet stalks
took them inside, cut them up and washed them
leaving them in the water for a while
I returned to find this beautiful
and intense colour experience

I am grateful for all I receive,
especially small mercies
and visual surprises

'The Poet and the cook, both nourish the world'

Saturday, 24 October 2009


Ian Jowett: 'Fly', metal

Ian Holton: 'Cedar Trunk', Recycled wood

Lynn Ashton: 'The Ark', Found wood

Images from the Art from Recycled Materials Exhibition
plus, below, opening remarks delivered by me 24 - 10 - 2009
exhibition runs from 25th Oct. - 1st Nov. 2009
Creswick Victoria, at various venues

Each work in this exhibition is like a book, written in two chapters. The first chapter is the story of what the work used to be and the second chapter the story of what it has become.

You can start to read these works by realizing that the beauty of this kind of art-making lies in the magic act of transforming the material. An act of love, involving both the artists’ hands and heart.

You can start to read these works by realizing that the beauty of this kind of art- making lies in the fact that we can enter and enjoy the process on any level. That recyclable material, as we can see all around us, is capable of true magic.

Each of the works in this exhibition started from what most makers would call a disadvantage, the artists brief, asked to use recyclable materials and useless stuff, fit mostly for landfill. In all cases, this turned out to be the defining feature of the work.

Thanks to the nature of art there are no rules, and thus it was easy to start from the premise of ‘anything is possible’.

In addition, the works in this exhibition also explore the makers’ skills. Wonderful skills. Most works seemed to have arrived at the understanding that the magic of the artist’s work does not lie in the expense of the tools and materials, but in the knowledge of the hands. And that, in the main, it is the limitations of the materials that have created the art.

Recycled materials, as we can see, do not necessarily mean less sophisticated work. Most of the true magic, of that on display, came from working with that which was available, and finding that inspiring and invigorating. This gives the work its potency, while at the same time, allowing the audience a whole new point of view into the process of art making.

This exhibition contains many stories but, besides the story of re-cycling, it is basically just the one story. The story about the true wonder of everything.

Sunday, 18 October 2009


a view of spring

With the blue grey greens of the winter forest, for a background,

Spring's palette is emerging with wonderful brilliance in the garden.

As bright as the colours squeezed straight from the artist's tube:

Dobs of Yellow in the cups of the daffodils,

Splashes of Red around the tulips,

A hush of Blue of reflected sky in the bird bath

Shades of Purple in the Dutch Irish,

A Flush of Orange in the wall flower display

While a fresh sea of Green fills in the remaining space.

Spring's rainbow springing about.

'Trust The Day You Get Into'