NICOLA WOODCOCK + KATARINA WELLS
Saturday 15th – Sunday 23rd September 2018
FOUND brings together the painted and ceramic works of two artists who are inspired by the natural beauty of their environments, as learned through the process of slowly moving through it on foot. Both artists are drawn to the natural bounty that surrounds them, and it continues to inform their work.
The artists serendipitously met two years ago when they were stall- holders at an Art Market. Katarina had a small black pot for sale, in which she had placed a banksia from her garden. Nicola bought the pot, along with the banksia held in it, which she later painted. Katarina loved it so much, they agreed to do an art swap – and so began an enduring friendship and creative collaboration.
I’ve recently rekindled my love of daily walking. Until I got a car at the age of 31 (when I also had a baby and it seemed important to be able to drive places) I walked everywhere. I’ve started walking again and I realise how much I have missed it. I love moving slowly through the landscape, slow enough to see all the details. Back then I lived in the English Countryside near Oxford. Now I find myself in Sydney, next to ‘the Bush’ in Terrey Hills. I’m attracted to the strong forms and colours of the native flora. Maybe because it is so different to the greenery that I grew up with.
For this body of work, I wanted to find all of the plants myself. I did not want to call in to a florist and pick up something beautiful flown in from the other side of the country. Everything I have drawn has been found by me on my walks. Sometimes when I’m driving I spot something amazing along the roadside and have to stop, but mostly I collect as I’m walking. This is what is growing now as I work, right here in this corner of Sydney. It is very particular to this place and time. My ‘finds’ come from carparks, roadsides, nature strips, and seemingly abandoned gardens. It is an appreciation of the everyday and a celebration of this place that I now call homey.
This group of hand built vessels is inspired by organic shapes and textures. I am a big collector of little treasures that I come across on my walks, like seedpods, rocks, and flowers. The rough textured surface results from the use of coarse stoneware clays. Some of the vases are treated with oxides or porcelain slip only to preserve the tactile quality of the clay, however the use of a sealant ensures functionality.