Sunday, June 21, 2009

2 new projects

abstracted seedpod form...inspired by living in a relatively lush, green environment for a city ... with a diversity of sub-tropical plants and trees where rainfall has been abundant of late.

from a journal page
When I started  blogging back in May I didn't quite perceive just what I would need to learn to have a well functioning blog. Just now I have finally sorted out the facility to link properly as I write a post. No doubt some have been put off to  find this previously not working. Better late than never I say! Also I have to thank Paul from the totally fabulous BibliOddyssey who gave me some excellent advice this week.
So the blog is the first new project...the second project relates to an ongoing theme in my studio that is finding new life and purpose - the  focus on seeds and seedpods. 
I had been working with a seedpod motif, rather an abstracted form, for some years. It would appear in my paintings like a talisman from who knows where. Then I relocated to Brisbane and everywhere I walked there would be seedpods falling from the trees, some light, fragile and floating in the breeze. Others were almost hefty and you had to avoid being hit on the head as they thudded to the ground. I would pick up whichever pods were around as I walked and in a short space of time I was enraptured with these prolific symbols of the abundance of nature. 
A whole series of concepts and interests began weaving together around this seed theme... a passion for knowing about the food we eat, for good cooking traditions, reverence for farmers who's slog brings this produce to our table (especially those farmers who work extra hard at eco-friendly cultivation methods), the table as a location for true conversation, the crtical political implications of the fact it is said that 6 companies- Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont. Mitsui, Aventis and Dow- now control 98% of the world's seed sales. This figures I quoted from 'ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE- A year of food life' by Barbara Kingsolver. This book was a gift from a dear friend in Newcastle (Aust), Maureen Beckett who is very involved in the timely and valuable Transitions Towns project in Newcastle and the local Permaculture movement. Seed-saving is as crucial now as it ever was, yet for entirely different reasons in many cases.
Schools are sprouting kitchen garden programmes, people are flocking to plant at least a herb garden and where possible a vegetable patch. In Australia recently many were avid watchers of 'Around the world in 80 days', UK gardener Monty Don's wonderful show on gardens around the globe. Quite a few featured gardens were in some way motivated by critical ecological and political issues faced in different communities around the world.
Artist Paul Klee wrote of the seed in his formative Notebook Vol 2: The Nature Of Nature: "despite its primitive smallness, a seed is an energy centre charged to the highest degree". This notebook is an inspiration as I currently work towards unfolding a programme that can be applied in either community and school contexts that brings together the Visual with the realm of Seeds Forms- specifically referring to these larger concerns and values around the overlooked but extraordinary world of seeds. More on this topic at a later date.

                                                                Monument in the fertile country
Paul Klee: 'Monument in the fertile country', 1929


Lee Beth said...

wow. I really really love your art.

Sophie Munns said...

Thanks for the very warm message Lee Beth.
Best wishes,