In 2014 and 2016 I had artist residencies in Namadgi National Park, ACT. The theme of the residency was the environmental protection of the alpine bogs and fens. A particular focus was the seed collection done by the Australian National Botanical Gardens for their seed bank to preserve plants endangered by climate change. The role of these environments in water filtration was also a significant area of research.
As I visited the bogs and fens I wondered at their fecundity and the abundance of plant life. With permission I collected plant samples from these environments to be processed for their dyes to make a unique record of place. Seep is coloured almost exclusively with these dyes, celebrating the richness of the flora. The aluminium prongs sprouting from the basket/bog reference the continual regeneration of plant life. The patterns of aluminium wire 'seeping' from the work are mimetic to the release of filtered water from the bogs and fens.
In her practice Sally Blake explores the relationship between her internal world - a world of images, feelings, thoughts, intuitions, dreams and memories - and the outer world of nature. She has found ways to collaborate with natural processes, in particular rain and dyes from plants, to make artworks.
Sally’s work is held in Canberra Museum and Gallery, Australian National University, Australian National Botanical Gardens (ANBG) as well as a number of private collections both in Australia and overseas.
Sally is based in Canberra, Australia, working across a number of textile techniques - dyeing, basketry, weaving, stitching, piecing - as well as paper-based media to produce works that arise in the potential space between self and nature. Sally exhibits widely in Australia, and has also had work exhibited internationally.
She completed her PhD studies in the Textiles Workshop at the Australian National University in 2015. Recent research includes an Australia Council funded project where she tested eucalypt leaves and bark at the ANBG for their dyes. This culminated in the creation of an online Eucalyptus Dye Database and solo exhibition.
aluminium wire, plant dyed wool, silk, hemp
24 x 52 x 50 cm
Judges of the 2017 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize: Djon Mundine OAM (Curator, Writer, Artist and Activist), Roslyn Oxley OAM (Gallerist and arts benefactor) and Alexie Glass-Kantor (Executive Director, Artspace, Sydney and Curator, Encounters, Art Basel | Hong Kong)
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