I love to collect and record what I find when I am out and about on my ramblings. I have an addiction to bushwalking and a need to understand and name the natural environment I am moving through.
I am not a botanical artist. I do not try to represent what I see with botanical accuracy. When describing a fish one has caught or a snake seen on a pathway we tend to magnify the creature 10 times in the telling of the story. I’ll focus on the parts of the plant or bird which most interests me, I may create a new mutant banksia or I may assign new colourings to birds to emphasise a feature which delights me.
I love to look at the 1794 drawings of James Sowerby and the illustrations from the late 1800’s of Elizabeth Gould, very often these were not depicted with exactitude. There was no photographic record so they could tell a story. I chanced upon the drawing of a Ground Parrot by Sowerby from 1794 and even though I have never seen one of these in the wild, I can find photographs and videos. I love the exaggeration of the feather patterns in this drawing and the unlikely pose of the bird, so much so that I felt compelled to make it in three dimensions in ceramics.
The recordings, drawings and taxidermy of Joseph and Elizabeth Gould were created for museums, collected and displayed. I have used bell jars / cloches and museum jars to display my ceramic recordings, recordings of my imagination based on fact. I usually only make and record what I see and find on bush walks, but I have allowed myself to also make what I find while searching through libraries and books if that discovery is to me, completely wonderful. Jane Du Rand March 2020