The beginning of a collaborative art project three artist friends from northern NSW are doing in 2019. Day one: making paper and printing from dirt, clay and fibre onto indigo dyed muslin and banana paper.

What is your passion? I’ve been doing an online course called the Passionathon and had to list 200 things I love. I found it quite easy and I kept finding recurring themes. It has helped me think about what I used to love, like photography and printmaking. These two things share alchemical moments when you “pull a print” either from a photographic bath in the darkroom or from under the printing press and see what emerges. These led me to papermaking, with my hands in a vat of pulp “pulling a sheet” as the water dripped through the mould.

One of the things I also remembered was loving my high school art class. Everyone sitting around at a bench chatting while we worked on our respective artworks. This was duplicated when I shared a studio with several other artists under the house in South Murwillumbah ( the one that got flooded in 2017).

Fast forward to 2019 when I met up with two of my artist friends and we made a plan for a year of art together, sharing ideas, collaborating on joint artworks as well as furthering our own arts practice. Today we met up for our first day of collaborative art play, pulping a favourite piece of clothing and turning it into paper.

While the hollander beater was transforming the fabric into fibre pulp, we had fun drinking cups of coffee and playing with the three elements we are using as our palette: paper, clay and fibre. Robin made a collagraph plate from clay, dirt and bits of half beaten fibre and started printing with them. Tara plucked fronds from the garden, wrapped them in twisted paper and created clay ‘moments’ with fibre balls, clay and garden foliage. I had fun finding new uses for the indigo dyed banana paper I had stacked in my paper drawers.

These passions are uniting my arts practice as I look forward to a year of being able to commit fully to making art . Who knows where it will lead.

My passion, indigo dyed banana paper!

My passion, indigo dyed banana paper!