ARTISTS IN ISOLATION | 2020

Deb Jemmeson

Calulu, East Gippsland, April 2020

The end of 2019 and start of this one for me has been a challenge as it has for all of us. With the fires not far from our door-step it was difficult to think of anything other than the fires and keeping my family safe.

 

I had no room in my life for anything other than the basics, and living in a constant state of ‘flight or fight’ sapped every bit of my energy. We got through, we were lucky, many of our friends lost everything except each other.

 

I still have trouble making sense of it all, and am forever grateful and in awe of the amazing Women and Men who put it all on the line to serve and protect us. 

 

I feel as though we have had very little time to catch our breath and return to any sort of reduced level of anxiety and we have been dropped into the challenge of negotiating our way through the Covid-19 situation. 

 

I am not sure where this will take us, but every day I am grateful to live where I do, surrounded by my beautiful bush which only a few months ago was the biggest liability. Instead of looking at the bush with suspicion it is once again a source of peace and relief.

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My daily walks to forage for leaves and plant materials are like meditation. I rely on my little patch for inspiration and the materials for my work. I use the Eucalyptus leaves off our property to eco-print with and create my naturally dyed works on silk. Nature is fascinating, always changing and constantly surprises me with its secrets and its resilience. 

 

Having all members of the household at home ALL of the time has definitely changed the way I am working, but it has also freed my time so I can create at a slower pace too.

 

Being in lockdown has meant that all my regular outlets for my work and income are closed and out of action for the time being, so I find myself rapidly learning the world of online sales and promotion on social media. None of that comes naturally and I would much rather be creating but we need to adapt to the situation we are in and make the best of it. The pace is slower which suits me and without the demands of children needing to be driven everywhere there is a lot more time to just be, go for long walks, create and be grateful for what I am fortunate to have.

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The Board and staff of East Gippsland Art Gallery acknowledge the Brabralung people of the Gunaikurnai Nation as the traditional custodians of the land on which the Gallery stands and where we meet, exhibit and celebrate art and heritage.
 

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East Gippsland Art Gallery is principally funded by East Gippsland Shire Council and supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria