Every E-news we’re going to share with you an interview with one of our fabulous CAN members. For this edition, we’re delighted to introduce Artist Jodie Davidson!
“Perth has such an amazing array of artists of varying disciplines and there’s so many wonderful ways for people to get involved.”
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your art?
After my Visual Arts Bachelors at ECU, I completed a Cert IV in Small Business Management – I figured if I was going to make a living from art, I needed to learn how to think of it like a business. It took another 4 years before I actually realised what it was I was focusing on – establishing an environmentally sustainable practice and creating artwork inspired by nature.
The first book I illustrated featured an assortment of lizards which was then followed by a children’s book Francene the Frog and her Friends in the Outback published by the Western Australian Museum. I ran workshops and classes using found materials for printmaking, stripping electrical cables to sculpt birds and collecting plant materials to make coiled friendship baskets.
I coordinated the Mandurah Poppies Project for the Anzac Day Centenary, aiming to engage 30 community groups to make poppies and we eventually engaged 87 community groups to make in excess of 32000 poppies. Those small flowers had made such a difference in so many people’s lives giving them a creative outlet to combat illness, loneliness and isolation. That was the biggest reward.
I’ve experimented with wearable art and my work Discarded Beauty went on to be a finalist in the 2017 Mandurah Wearable Art Competition which later exhibited at the Perth Telstra Fashion awards.
In May, I am heading to Beijing with Sue Girak, to deliver the Footprint Project and Wearable Art to the Beijing New Talent Academy and I’m looking forward to being a part of FORM’s Art of Learning Program with Paul Collard.
You are passionate about collaborative projects, are you working on ideas now where people might be able to get involved?
In March I coordinate the En Plein Air Art competition in Mandurah. Creatives set themselves up along the foreshore over the weekend to draw, paint, sculpt or even create ephemeral art. There’s prize money and artwork is exhibited for two weeks at Vivid Gallery in Mandurah. Plus entrants get the opportunity to display some of their work for sale over the weekend.
I’ve just started a new community art project that will be installed as part of Mandurah’s Stretch Festival on 5 and 6 May. Inspired by Sue Girak’s Footprints project that draws attention to the impact of single-use plastics, we have created Put A Lid On It. It’s a community art project aiming to make 30 pairs of footprints using the plastic lids and bottletops which currently can’t be recycled, highlighting the impact of these items on the Peel waterways.
Then there’s The Big Draw. This project began in the UK and demonstrates the social, economic and health benefits that drawing can bring, providing opportunities for everyone to access them. I am currently looking for 12 facilitators to design and run drawing and mark making inspired workshops over the weekend. To register your interest at the Mandurah Stretch Arts Festival page.
What drives you? Where do you find your inspiration?
Nature, people and finding ways where I can make a difference with my own environmental footprint. Yesterday I finished paving underneath my recycled pergola. The pavers were on their way to landfill, the pergola is made from a trampoline frame without the mat and the canopy is made by weaving old fishing ropes. Today I replanted a mango tree into an old sand filter and built a veggie garden in an old tool box. Both of these were destined for the tip. Tomorrow I might grab the wire offcuts, some from REmida, others left over from projects, and continue sculpting the bilby I’ve been playing with. Starting on one thing always leads to another idea. I love looking at galleries, particularly sculptural work and reading about other artist’s process. I find that inspires me.
Images supplied by Jodie Davidson