This work pays homage to the world of plants and people who love them. Gardeners are active custodians of memories and history and through plant cuttings taken and bought from different places, our gardens are living reminders of where we have been and how we are connected to one another. They change as we change, they grow and blossom and fruit and move through us, from garden to garden leaving a trail of provenance behind them. We are challenged and inspired by them and our lives depend on them.
So much of art, literature and science is seduced by the desire to study the unparalleled beauty and workings of the plant world. As Gilling’s says “As an artist and gardener, I find it near impossible to make anything more beautiful than a garden or bushland. For this reason, I plan to create an exhibit that demonstrates our responses to plants.”
By using collected images, photographs, writings and other paper-based responses, Gillings will create a large scale multi-layered collage which will mimic the patterns made on the trunks of the scribbly bark gum trees that surround the centre.
The work (progress shots above) will be reminiscent of a Victorian scrap-book or Japanese scroll, and as the paper is exposed to the elements it will change like a living plant and suggest the texture of a paperbark tree. To compliment the paper cuttings, a selection of plant cuttings in jars of water will be planted at the base of the collage. As the exhibition continues, the cuttings will grow roots while the collage degrades.
Most of Gillings’ artwork is constructed with found objects, but painting, drawing, printmaking and traditional sculptural techniques also have an important place in her art-making. Her reluctance to throw anything away has encouraged her to explore the possibilities of a wide variety of material in her art practice. This work may be figurative or abstract, but always contains an underlying reference to waste and over consumption.
The material tells as much of the story as does the way it is presented. “In an attempt to limit my contribution to landfill, I collect discards and meticulously sort and store them, examine them for sculptural potential and eventually rework them into something else. Something that is less likely to be discarded“, explains Gillings.
As well as exhibiting smaller works in both public and commercial galleries, she been selected for and exhibited in a number of major public outdoor sculpture exhibitions including, Sculpture at Scenic World, Sculpture at Sawmillers, Art In the Wetlands, Sculpture in the Vineyards, Willoughby Sculpture prize, North Sydney Art Prize, and Sculpture by The Sea, where she exhibited for the tenth year in 2016.
Gillings has been commissioned to produce works for the Royal North shore Hospital, World Square, M&C Saatchi, Dolby Sound, Scenic World Katoomba, Parramatta Council, Havaianas, and Taronga Zoo among others.
Gillings is an experienced art educator with over 30 years experience in both the public and private sector working with people of all ages and abilities. To book a drawing session with Jane that uses these cuttings as subjects, then are added to the work, you can become part of a growing, collaborative piece and a shared memory, just like our gardens, book here.