Tuesday, 29 April 2014

What's The Story Morning Glory

Some disappointing and some surprising results. The Palm bark had little or no effect except as a resist but the Castor oil plant leaves gave a really nice impression.

This morning's foraging was a little trickier than usual as the wild flowers on the cliffs are now few and far between. With the exception of St John's Wort , which has a penchant for growing precariously close to the edge, the only plants still looking healthy are the grasses. Beautiful as they are swaying in the wind, they give off very little in the way of dye.  A few morning glory and some cultivated flowers, I'm not sure of the name of, were added to the basket today.
Yesterday I tried some Palm bark which despite having a lovely rich colour, produces no dye. Th ever profuse Eucalypts are still in the mix, not only for the wonderful shades but their strong shape. The leaves of the Castor Oil plant give a surprising and lovely effect.

A glorious start to the day, with fine weather forecast for the rest of the week, I'm feeling it may almost be time to don the wetsuit and get into the water. 

A bay full of brightly coloured jellyfish.

Happy days. There isn't anywhere I would rather be, or need to be right now.

Where the St John's Wort lurks !

Island life is good today and every day.

Monday, 28 April 2014


Once a man came unto me and denounced me on account of my observing the Way and practicing great loving-kindness. But I kept silent and did not answer him. The denunciation ceased. Then I asked him. ‘If you bring a present to your neighbor and he accepts it not; does the present come back to you?’ He replied, ‘It will.’ I said, ’ You denounce me now, but as I accept it not, you must take the wrong deed back on your own person. It is like echo succeeding sound, it is like shadow following object; you never escape the effect of your own evil deeds. Be therefore mindful, and cease from doing evil.

— Buddha

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Island Mantras

Wind Song  21st April  Wied Il Mielah   

Inspired by land artists like Andy Goldsworthy, Richard Long and Herman De Vries I have produced a series of works under the collective title of Island Mantras. I wanted to immerse myself totally into the island environment using the things about me to create my own version of Gozo.There are two different sets of work but both envelope the Island totally. Soaked in Essence series are a collection of works based on plant dyes and Wind Songs embrace the changing seasons. Sometimes these two elements cross over.

Soaked in Essence
Moments captured on my daily walks around the Island. The time and place is the essence of the walk. Each valley or Wied has a name and this is recorded on each finished piece. The results can vary hugely from week to week depending on the organic matter available. I collect seasonal flowers, leaves, barks, seeds and any other organic material that may lend it’s self to producing colour in a dye bath. Leaves and flowers are rolled into watercolour paper and through a long and complicated process, the subtle and unusual colours emerge. The dye is absorbed by the paper leaving wonderfully subtle prints. Mordants are used to vary the colour combinations and sea water and sea salt made at the Xweni salt pans are used in the dye bath too .Each one is original, different and unexpected. 

Wind Song   22nd April  Ta' Pinu   

Wind songs. 
The wind writes it's own song, sometimes laying marks over plant based dyed paper. Time and place specific, these works capture a brief and transient glimpse into Gozo.

Wind Song   23rd April   Wied Il Ghasri   

Sunday, 20 April 2014

14 Stations of the Cross

Happy Easter.
On a beautifully sunny and hot Easter Sunday morning, what better way to spend time with friends, than to walk up past the 14 stations of the cross. 

Starting and ending at Ta' Pinu a steep incline to the top reminds us of the Passion of Christ. Whilst walking there was time for reflection and meditation along with much chatting and admiring of the fabulous view right around the island. What a lovely day. Sadly the Spring flowers are now waning in the intensifying warmth of the sun. I have collected all I can until the Autumn now and will have to start looking for alternative dye sources for my work.