As Artist / Making

Into the Hazelwoods

I set out to make this piece as an expression of the interconnectedness of all life on earth. I believe it is crucial that we have hope, that we believe the future is not lost and I believe that through art we can inspire emotional connections that stimulate action. I believe in the power of beauty in art and wanted to create a piece that transcend the despair of climate change and celebrated the natural world and the ingenuity of humanity. I was struck by the similarity that appears in a forest and in human industrial architecture and was attempting to highlight this similarity. Industrial architecture has a haunting beauty that suggests that on some level it is inspired to natural world. Just as computer circuitry design looks very similar to a tree, which is also mirrored in a river delta and most significantly in our own blood vessels, suggesting that on a very deep level we know that all systems on Earth are connected and to help build a sustainable future we just need more people to remember this. There is little doubt that the resulting piece was influenced by both the above artworks, combing digital imaging and eWaste in the final piece.

I began with an original photo of a child running off to play in forest, this represents the human element and illustrates the deep and intrinsic connection that children have to the natural environment. I then added another original photo of the (now decommissioned) Hazelwood power station behind the trees to show the echoed shape, the smokestacks are trunks, and the smoke is the canopy. 

I altered the hue to better highlight the surreal quality of the juxtaposition. I then printed the image onto fabric and detail with machine stitching, reminiscent of ink drawing at further enhance the connections. Fragments of eWaste, computer circuitry was added to show that in fact all our modern tech begins first as raw elements of nature, this is further enhanced by the driftwood and leather thong to hang the work.