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Sunday, July 15, 2018



Collaborative installation
For Linda, Lyn, Lily and myself, a huge part of the two year process, to produce an exhibition, is the productive and delightful workshops. From the end of 2016, after 5WAYS exhibition, through to July 2018 when we hung the GARDEN exhibition, we have been to Mooloolabah, Rusty Roo and to Linda's property and workshop, to work on ceramic pieces, for the collaborative installation, for ponds at the Brisbane Institute of Art..
Rusty Roo workshops 2016 - 2018

Wheel throwing
 casting and hand building at RR

Jewellery making at the Rusty Roo.

Eco Dying


 Mooloolabah weekend. 
Hand building clay.

Mt Mee

Keeping a diary - process.

What a treat to produce this gorgeous installation in the GARDEN
at the Brisbane Institute of Art. . . .Lily pads and pods made from pottery, hand built, glazed and fired. 
Supported on oxidised copper piping.
Thank you Linda for coordinating and firing all the pieces. 

GARDEN EXHIBITION July 5th - July 18 2018

Once again, thank you to my supportive family and friends for assisting with the hanging of my work and attending the exhibition opening at the Brisbane Institute of Art. Arron and Cameron measured, discussed, agreed, disagreed and finally managed to have work up in a impressively level line for viewing . . . not easy, with work which varies in size and format and sits 37mm off the wallBrisbane Institute of Art 

Thank you also to all the delightful self declared GEEKS at The Edge, State Library of Queensland, who offered support and assistance so I could fulfil my desire to produce these laser cut works. . .  your patience in the face of my persistence was commendable. I am looking forward to taking work into metal production . . . . http://edgeqld.org.au/

Sharon Lee


Taxonomy of Small Joys

For me, art making is all about the process; the sharing of experiences, investigation of ideas and learning of new techniques. A quote attributed to many individuals, including Buddah, succinctly describes how I feel about working towards an exhibition -Life is a journey not a destination.

  In 2016, using GARDEN as my starting point, I became obsessed with the results of an extensive research project conducted by Mike Stevens, lecturer for landscape studies, at the University of N.S.W. Entitled The Congruent Garden: an investigation into the role of the domestic garden in satisfying fundamental human needs, it establishes that gardens satisfy nine human needs: Freedom, Identity, Creation, Understanding, Participation, Leisure, Affection, Protection and Subsistence across four existential states: Being, Having, Doing and Interacting.

  Early in this journey I knew I required a technique which would assist me in portraying these nine needs, but that it would also need to incorporate my belief that, it is not only that which we see, but also that which remains unseen, which is invaluable.

  I realised that laser cutting would help me portray this other-worldly, multi layered feature of the garden. Using my initial paintings and hand-drawn images, I attended courses in Illustrator and Coral Draw to produce the necessary vector files. Attending various induction workshops to learn how to use the laser cutting machine at The Edge, State Library of Queensland, has been a long and often frustrating, but rewarding process.
  The resulting 4mm ply laser cuts, with their solid forms and variable shadows, represent a collection of  moments, of the seen and elusive, which regularly occur in our garden. The overlay of colors using mono-printing and stencils portray the perpetual variables which create change, often in a heartbeat.

oil on 4mm laser cut ply  
Because of the adventurous spirit of naturalists, the covetous cravings of entrepreneurs and relentless development through grafting, rooting, budding, mutation and hybridisation, we have a plethora of vegetable plants, fruit trees and flowers which thrive in today’s    gardens.

oil on 4mm laser cut ply     

Science alone will never adequately explain how a garden helps us make sense of the disorientating confusion of modern society. Connecting with the elements in a garden can act as a buffer against the dread often presented by the big-picture of the world.
3/ CREATION - INHERITANCE               
oil on 4mm laser cut ply  
The purposeful introduction of foreign flora and fauna has often produced disastrous problems, and yet deliberate hybridisation has given plants a complex inheritance which can prove highly beneficial.
oil on 4mm laser cut ply    

 Gardening is an exercise in optimism and often a triumph of hope over experience. Gardeners know there has to be a balance of humility and benevolence. Of course it also helps to exercise control, servitude, respect, pragmatism, and ecological conscience.

oil on 4mm laser cut ply     

There are numerous lasting gifts we can bequeath our children: clean air, fertile soil, serenity, knowledge, roots, and another is wings. However, there is nothing in which birds differ more from man than the way they manage to construct and yet leave the landscape as it was before.

oil on 4mm laser cut ply    

Gardening is ultimately a folly which allows us to make our own mark upon the land providing delight and a place in which we may rest. The sound of birds can stop the corrosive chatter of the mind. The sun and rain cleans and heals. The inaudible  glide of the wind sooths the soul.
Sometimes I sits and think, and sometimes I just sit. - A.A. Milne

oil on 4mm  laser cut ply     

One of the most delightful things about the garden is the anticipation it provides. To be intimately aware that there are unseen happenings afoot. Tending the garden with parental solitude, loving what you do and feeling that it matters.

oil on 4mm laser cut ply    

Gardening imparts an organic perspective on the passage of time. Change marches on relentlessly, as time speeds past regardless. And what was is not and never again will be.
To what shall I compare this life of ours?
Even before I can say,
it is like a lightning flash or a dewdrop,
it is no more.  
oil on 4mm  laser cut ply     
Life and love are life and love, a bunch of violets is a bunch of violets and to drag in the idea of a point is to ruin everything. Live and let live. Love and let love, flower and fade and follow the natural curve which flows on, pointless. 
- D.H. Lawrence  
oil on 4mm  laser cut ply  
The sun rises, pink and gold, momentarily highlighting a landscape  of sparkling, dew-drenched cobwebs looking like fishermen's nets crafted from stainless steel; gossamer, ethereal, and otherworldly. A grey heron arrives to gracefully stalk the ponds. I make coffee and in my moment of busyness feather and shimmer disappear as if
displeased by my inattentiveness.

                                  PROCESS  -   NEST      oil on 4mm  laser cut ply

Throughout my observations of our garden, researching and learning the new technique of laser cutting, I have realised that art, gardens and text, despite being unique dialects, when juxtaposed, echo and augment each other. Together the three speak in a hybrid language, far richer than each would be on their own. And it is through the added exploration of text that I have been able to come to terms with the complexity and saturation of imagery in every day life within a garden.

What a delight to know that works will make their way across great swathes of ocean to Houston, Texas USA and England, while those in Australia will travel to Fraser Island, Noosa, Tweed and throughout the suburbs of Brisbane. 

Another delightful exhibition . . . now onto BIRDS

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Last minute dash


Deciding that the 4mm ply was suitable for my project, I knew I had to attend every available Wednesday laser-cut Bump-in session, at The Edge, over the next few months - to ensure all nine works were completed in time for exhibiting. . . 
(Thank you to the incredible team at The Edge who show an incredible degree of patience and enthusiasm . . .)
However, I did not predict the unforeseen breakages during sanding and printing. . . which needed to be re-cut. More time.

And, I realised that quite a few of the drawings I had developed into Vector files, once cut, were no longer works I wanted to be included in the exhibition. . . . 


So, it was always back to the drawing, painting and observing the garden, at the Rusty Roo, for inspiration.

                                     Small oil studies

Night visitor

Another aspect of an exhibition is the artists statement. The accompanying explanation for the process of the work. 

The concept.

Being at The Edge, at the State Library, I found I was encouraged by people I encountered, to keep building on my desire for story-telling.  (note . . not grammar or spelling!) 

I realised that Art, Gardens and Test, despite being unique dialects, when amalgamated, they echoed and supplemented each other. It was through my exploration of text which helped me come to terms with the complexity of imagery, I discovered each day in our garden.

From sunrise to sunset a constant array of ever-changing imagery.


I also noticed there was as much desire to see the laser-cut as there was to hear how and why I had developed each image.

Participation - CHOICE

There are numerous lasting, precious gifts we can pass on to our children: knowledge, clean air, fertile soil, solitude, growth, and others are fur and wings. However, birds, animals and man are worlds apart in their abilities to build. Man deconstructs, reconstructs and often destroys, while birds manage to leave the landscape as it was before.

Only eight more to write . . . .  no pressure!!!!