Chatting with Darwin
After visiting the Galapagos Islands I became fascinated with Charles Darwin who had sailed there 167 years before I did. This work references the isolation of long sea passages, intertwined with the isolation of the Galapagos Islands.
The book is 7 metres long when laid out flat, but around 3-4 metres when displayed. Salt and watercolour washed Arches paper was used and the setup of the pages reflects the days Burramys was at sea or in harbour. Handstitching lays out the routes of both Burramys and The Beagle.
Anyone for a cuppa?
It would be great to be able to sit down with Darwin and have a chat and a cup of tea, but as this was not possible I made us both a small teabag book.
My book is a collection of sketches, journal notes, linoprints etc. – the sort of thing a traveler might have in their sketchbook. The teabag pages give a delicious tactile experience.
Sir John Herschel was a friend and mentor to Darwin – so I thought it apt to use his cyanotype process for Darwin’s Book. I was also fascinated by the fact that such a great man as Darwin would forget to label his bird specimens with their island of origin and need to borrow specimens to support his theory of natural selection – so I have given him a collection of labels to mark this oversight.
Journey up the Red Sea
Around 10 years ago I was fortunate to get a grant to go to the McGregor Summer School at Toowoomba to do aquatints with Bernhadine Mueller. The etchings in the above book were produced then – all in a hurry in the workshop with bits and pieces etched right on top of each other as there was a shortage of small etching plates and no easy way to cut the large ones that were available. Some time later the etchings and some extracts from my journal were appropriated for this artist book which is a lovely memory of a rather extraordinary time in my life – sailing in the Red Sea. Cruising the Red Sea is somewhat of a rite of passage and we still remain in touch with the cruising sailors that were there the same year as we were.