big sky country
3 June - 9 July
170-174 Abbotsford St
North Melbourne VIC
(03) 9329 1860
artist statement -
‘The bush spoke to me, she called me often. Everything in the natural world had a language, the trees, birds, hills, their foreign tongues animated and interwoven with purpose, exotic and intoxicating. Mine was the least understood. I would follow the thread of their whispers for hours and kilometres, meandering through the scrub uninhibited as only a child can, urged forward in a light headed promise of discovery and otherworld enchantment’.
Lori was fortunate to experience a rural childhood fringed by nature reserves. This exhibition chronicles the time and space of her childhood wanderings and the comprehension of how the exploration of the ‘eternalness’ of the bush landscape set the course for self discovery and the extension of her internal vitality. ‘The infinity of the ‘big sky’ unfurled my minds eye and in doing so, embedded deep within, the learning seeds and nourishment of my inner being to underpin the person I was to become. There were no boundaries or hard edges to my awareness, I was both small and large, everything and anything in my coursing through the natural world’.
The use of botanics as metaphors to emphasise a virtue of character are hallmarks of these child hood memories, and are uniquely repurposed in her art practise and creative expression to form a distinct ‘language of flowers’. They aid in the recollecting and reconnecting to the internal self and encourage the viewer to also regenerate their ecological self. The birds in her work refer to relationships and often portray those of matriarchal women in her life, past and present. ‘As birds in the natural world are critical in the balance of the natural systems, so too is the consequential role of women in nurturing family culture. I honour the unconditional love they have given’.
The figures in this collection are principally a mix of family and friends, interwoven and regenerated as self portraits. ‘The panoramic ‘big sky’ landscapes are a tribute to my grandparents and the stories of aspirations they spun as we slept on a mattress beneath the star stippled blanket of the milky way. My family are integral in my self portrayal and story making, the sharing of lived and inherited memories strengthens our bonds and family culture.