Years ago, years before I was weaving, I tore from a magazine an article on an Australian woman sculptor and pasted it into a book of things I found inspiring (so many of those torn pages paint a picture of now). It wasn’t only this woman’s work I loved, but the idea of making art from found objects and reassembling nature. I subsequently occasionally googled her and, although I had never been to see one of her shows, I went so far as to ring her gallery in Melbourne to ask the price of one of her framed pieces, just dreaming. I wrote a blog post about her here in August 2011 and listed her as an influence whenever I was asked. I didn’t imagine I would know her.
Skip forward to 2012 and I had the good fortune to be invited to teach a winter weaving workshop in an incredible house called ‘Fishcakes’ built by art gallery owners, which is perched over the beach at Seal Rocks, on the NSW mid-North coast. The second booking I got for the workshop was from someone called Shona Wilson. I was in excited jitters. Could it really be this artist I admired? I didn’t know it then, but Shona lives not far from Seal Rocks and after spending the weaving day together, she invited me to visit her home studio the next day and I must say it felt like strange forces were at play, giving me the chance to spend time with a creative hero.
The pictures in this post are from her latest show Plasticenic – Future Remains at King Street Gallery (now on William Street) in Darlinghurst, Sydney. After hearing that scientists had discovered microscopic plastic in the cell structure of some ocean plants, Shona decided to create 3D plant forms from a future era in which plastic particles have ‘infiltrated single cell organisms’ and grown to become melded flora. All these extraordinarily intricate sculptures use plastics found on coastal walks. The show has now closed but some works are still for sale through the gallery.
What’s more, I have a pretty informed hunch that beautiful Shona Wilson will be offering some land art & assemblage workshops herself in the near future. God willin’ and the creek don’t rise, I will be the first to book in.
The future remains a mystery but perhaps we can manifest our dreams. So tear, paste, pin, google and write about your heroes… perhaps you’ll befriend them one day.