Monday, September 20, 2010

Working in the Homage to the Seed journal

Working in the journal today I realised it was quite a while since I'd photographed images for the homage blog. These are some of the pages from this year's journal. Other pages have been added to this blog from time to time. As I downloaded them I was reminded I must find correct names for some that I have picked up to draw and not yet identified.

title page

These drawings vary greatly in approach and purpose of the drawing. When the Seed Lab is open and operating I am likely to do simple pen drawings and document notes whilst working and engaging in discussion about the Seed-banking process.

A variety of mediums is employed for work in the journal - and this is very much a thinking process as well as mediative one. Not all ideas will find their way into the paintings and larger works - but extensive journal work contributes greatly to the entire engagement with all kinds of concerns in producing a body of work.

One of the main preoccupations of the year visually and aesthetically has been exploring the enormous diversity of forms waiting to be discovered - whether by research and secondary methods such as library books from the Botanic Library at Mt Coot-tha or by drawing from the range of finds that are at my disposal or given to me by any number of people who look out for things I might like to draw.

The journal is the place I purposely investigate ideas that occur as I work. Unlike the discipline of the Botanical Illustrator whose goal is scientific accuracy my work is a distinct departure from such preoccupations and allows me the opportunity to see the seed, the pod or capsule as both motif and metaphor... as emerging from a continuum with unique structures and variations for each species being examined.

cross-sections of seed capsules from rainforest fruits


Albizia lebbeck

Same subject above... completely different materials and manner of working. Both works evolved into completely different ideas despite having started out as very similar colour pencil drawings. Unlike some artists who know exactly what it is they wish to replicate .... for me the possibility of something finding its ideal form and materials 
pushes me to take risks and accept that some works have even been lost from working it further.

Painfully slow this process may be - so much time spent working in the journal - but for me it is worth it. Well-worn formulas are not my preference.... nor repeating one or two ideas for a whole body of work. The challenge is to balance the need for truly animated forms with the desire for continuity and a focused vision. Certainly the journal generates the rhythm that can carry over into the making of the larger works.
Herein lies the metaphor of the seed...catalyst for that which grows out of its humble beginning!

Banksia - species not yet identified

Often one drawing is more representative of the subject.... which then leads to the abstraction on the opposite page.

Banksia seeds - interesting to note that fire is often the force that causes the dispersal of the banksia seeds... that or extreme heat.

The seed pod on the left is many times enlarged for dramatic effect.

The seeds on left were given to me by the Garden's caretaker... the right pod is from the Garden's carpark


Syzygium oleosum: blue lilly pilly and  Alpinia caerulea: blue ginger

These are some of the pages... no doubt more will be added at some stage. The next few months will be very busy
working with this material as well as  new seeds collected by Jason Halford on the recent MSB /Seeds for life collecting trip in Northern Queensland.


Altoon Sultan said...

You have lots of interesting ideas and images here, Sophie. It'll be fun to see where they take you.

sophie munns said...

Thanks for your comments Altoon...
its that crucial moment of having cooked up a storm, and laid it all out ... then beginning to pare back, find the essentials.
Im rather preoccupied right now - spending hours at the studio.... consequently I am slow with correspondences and visiting blogs at the moment... something I must apologies for!

Donna Heart said...

Hello Sophie - well for me, looking at pictures of seedpods is a feast for the eyes! There are endless patterns, textures etc What a marvel is our mother nature! I mentioned a while back about our very own soap bush here in teh Kimberley, and I found a link to a small piece on it here:

Have a lovely week - muse be with you :)

sophie munns said...

Hello Donna!
home late from the absorbed in the work... lovely to hear from you.
Thanks for the link - that is worth a look for sure!
You must often find amazing things living where you do.
and an excellent week to you too,

Helen Schwencke said...

Hi Sophie,
Love your journal. My mother remembered this most of all from your exhibition.


sophie munns said...

Hi Helen,
lovely to have you stop and make a comment...much delighted you've visited.Thank you for kind words.
I got so wrapped up in the studio tonight I forgot its late- best be going. See you!

Gloria Freshley said...

WOW Sophie! These journal drawings are wonderful....and so inspriring. Thank you, thank you for sharing them! Any chance you would be making cards or prints of the colored drawing of the senna guadachaudii(sp?)seeds?

em said...

what beautiful work! it seems you have no lack for inspiration! i love the warmth and colors of your work. i have missed so much over the past few weeks... i'll try to catch up...

sophie munns said...

Thank you for the lovely comments Gloria!
I like the freedom of the journal pages... where Ideas can be explored.
It is possible to do prints/cards from the journal works.

sophie munns said...

Hi Em,
endless inspiration with sees and pods... you could spend forever on them really.
lovely to hear from you Em,
have a great week!

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