ARTISTS IN ISOLATION | 2020
Gragin, May 2020
Lee Darroch is a Yorta Yorta, Mutti Mutti and Boon Wurrung artist, designer, and community cultural worker. Her home base is Gragin, otherwise known as Raymond Island. Lee’s artwork is inspired by the need to continue cultural, artistic and spiritual practices. She practices a number of art forms including possum skin cloak making, pastel drawing, painting, basket weaving, textiles and large-scale sculptures.
During this isolation period, I have been working on a couple of projects . One is called Make the World Again with Garland magazine and a number of other textiles designers and workers. Our soft opening is on YouTube now: https://youtu.be/jEOqjyRrc0k
I live and work on a small island, accessed by car ferry and boat in the Gippsland Lakes. We have an old family dog, Noah. Because we live in a nature reserve and there is a drought, we have many parrots, wild kangaroos, koalas, echidna in the garden. My little studio/office overlooks the bush. It is a quiet place.
What inspired me
I am interested in the interplay between traditional coiled basketry made with grasses and baskets made with non-traditional materials such as silk, wool, fringing, beading.
How I made it
I grew and harvested New Zealand flax in my garden in various colours such as brown flax or a variegated green and yellow flax. These I then wove the flax into 38 baskets to represent the 38 language groups of Victoria. I embellished the baskets as I went using Australian Tapestry Workshop wool cotton or silk and fringing. Each basket was then unique. The whole process took 6 months.
What I am working on
I am working on a large solo exhibition at Gippsland Art Gallery in Sale on theme of climate change, I live in East Gippsland which is still recovering from catastrophic bushfires which have killed a billion animals , burnt houses, devastated communities and national parks. Also, I am part of our local artists collective Concerned Artist Resisting Species Extinction, I will exhibit some works on the theme of climate change this year in the East Gippsland Art Gallery.