This 19x41cm found object assemblage wall sculpture is called Land of the Long Grey Cloud 1. I created it from metal rods (including screw ends and drill bits), two pieces of ‘folded’ metal, and three pieces of wood.
Although the work as a whole appears sparse, the cityscape in the centre is compacted. It reflects the vastness of Australia, but the concentration of people in our few major cities along the coast.
My inspiration for the name was the translation of the Maori name for New Zealand. Aotearoa is thought to mean the Land of the Long White Cloud. However, these ‘clouds’ were not white, but rather shades of grey – hence the name.
The city depicted could be anywhere in Australia. However, I picked up all the bits and bobs to make it from the streets of Melbourne. Therefore, it probably is a reflection of Melbourne.
This artwork featured in my second solo exhibition, From the Streets of Melbourne, at the Melbourne City Library in 2018. It was also in Grand Designs at North Melbourne Spring Fling later that year.
More recently, it was in the exhibition From Then to Now with Creativity Cluster in March and April 2021. This exhibition at The Reimaginarium was part of both Melbourne and Geelong Design Weeks.
Working as a found object assemblage artist and jewellery designer, I create wall sculptures, 3D sculptures and brooches. I limit my ‘raw materials’ to the metal, wood, tiles and plastic that I gather from streets and skips.
Many of my works are inspired by the skyline, especially at sunrise and sunset. Often I try to incorporate ‘natural features’. A bent nail can suggest a meandering river, or a broken tile becomes a mountain. In this case, some pieces of metal have transformed into clouds.
My more abstract works are stimulated by the found objects themselves, which I often place in juxtaposition. At other times, I emphasise their rusted, scratched or variegated surfaces.
My art is inspired by a strong interest in sustainability through repurposing and upcycling. My hope is that this artwork makes you smile and, at the same time, reminds you of the 5Rs to help our planet: refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose and recycle.