Slowly and steadily, my thoughts and ideas are becoming clearer. Writing about my work and taking photos has helped me understand why I'm so busy making and collecting things.
I studied biology at university here in Sydney and worked in scientific research for approximately ten years, always feeling like a fish out of water. I then retrained as a horticulturist, and then some years later as an artist. My interests in the natural world, art, science and mathematics are reflected in the things I make. All my skills and interests have merged and I finally feel as if I have found my niche.
Newport Beach with rockpool. Photo by Tigger Newling
The Rubbish Vortex is a collaborative project that I am currently working on. Christine and Margaret Wertheim, co-directors of the Institute for Figuring invited me to create a rubbish vortex for the second phase of the crochet coral reef. It will be exhibited at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), in 2008. The Crochet Coral Reef is currently on exhibition at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, until June 17, 2007.
The Rubbish Vortex, or Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is in the North-East Pacific Ocean, just NE of Hawai'i. It's formed by circulating currents of the sub-tropical gyre. In the calm centre of the vortex, plastic accumulates. Check out this great animation of the ocean currents here. As a keen surfer, swimmer and beach comber, it's important to me to preserve the coastal environment and the creatures living in it and bring the problem of plastic pollution to the public's attention. To find out more about the rubbish vortex please visit The IFF website.
Preliminary sketches of my ideas so far. These evolve as I progress....... difficult to say what the final sculpture will look like. Curiously many shapes and themes reappear throughout my work.
I am also expanding the collection of crochet Sea Creatures using the colourful plastic bags I've been receiving from readers of my blog from around the world.
Photos by Tigger Newling