During the 3 week residency at Namadgi National Park I stayed at Gudgenby Ready Cut cottage in the south of the park with fellow Artist in Residence, Harriet Shwartzrock. My project was to focus on the rocks and plants to think about time, impermanence, living in the present and being mindful of the past and future.

Looking at the rock outcrops and giant tors, which are a significant geological feature in the landscape, I was in awe of the solid forms and their history through millions of years past. Although often large and formidable in weight, they have been changed over time by the elements – rain, frost, fire and floods. I also looked at the plants as I walked noticing their forms and stage of going to seed in autumn and thought about how later this year they will flower again, a short cycle of growth and renewal.

During the residency I studied the granite rocks and plants, documenting the impact of fires, rain and climate change through expressive drawing and weaving “en plein air”. Aspects I considered were micro/macro, broad scale and focussed viewpoint, gesture, mark and texture. How to evoke concepts of time, change, urgency, devastation, impact and generate future forward thinking – renewal, care, paying attention to Earth? Further development of experimental and creative work will allow me to reflect on ideas and generate a new resolved body of work for exhibition at Craft ACT in 2022.

Images: works in progress and Namadgi National Park by Valerie Kirk: Photo of Valerie Kirk by Harriet Schwartzrock.

Namadgi landscape, Valerie KirkNamadgi Landscape 2 by Valerie KirkNamadgi rocks, Valerie KirkNamadgi residency Valerie Kirk

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