These works are my emotional response to feelings that have surfaced upon returning to Scotland after living and studying overseas for so long. I have always functioned under the illusion of being a proud Scot, yet upon return I feel I know nothing of my own heritage. For weeks I’ve felt disorientated and emotionally disconnected from the landscape and so I find myself drifting back in my mind to camping in the outback, completely alone with not a building or another person in sight, absorbing the delights of an untarnished, wild world. It was there I felt most truly at home. Learning to live with the bare minimum and embracing the time to just enjoy my surroundings was when I really began to question our westernised relationship with time and Capitalism.
While I adjust to life back here, I am taking this opportunity to embrace the freedom of abstract and movement and incorporating elements of colour psychology as well as the history of colours. My ochre palette reflects my own multi-sensory experiences and memories – the most treasured being of the first time I foraged for pigments in the Daintree Rainforest. Sometimes we paint what we need to see or feel, so I’ve found myself painting where I am not but want to be. Ochres make me feel calm, at peace, grounded and energised.
In response to what I have learnt about the importance of a persons connection to country and the irreparable damage from colonialism bestowed onto the First Nations people, a portion of any profits will be donated to the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania who are in the process of buying back Indigenous Land – givinglandback.org.
I would like to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (First Nations) people as the first peoples of the Australian nation and as the traditional owners of the land.