The Wallum (Coastal lowland heath) areas of South-East Queensland are endangered but beautiful ecosystems often overlooked and threatened by development. The humility of the low lying and stunted vegetation springing tenaciously from acidic soil is deceptive, huge variation and intricate detail are revealed through close examination. The small but exquisitely jewel-like flowering and fruiting bodies, leaf types and stems provide inspiration for
jeweller Rebecca Ward and ceramicist Shannon Garson fusing ceramics, jewellery glass, film, web-based media, and photography exploring the “wallum” of South East Queensland.
Mapping is a theme that has emerged strongly in the work of both artists during this project. Shannon and Rebecca began the collaborative process by doing a series of field trips to the wallum of the south east coast and collecting data in the form of photographs, twigs and leaves, impressions of wallum flowers and vegetation in porcelain and resin and many, many hours in the hot sun and the scratchy wallum on hands and knees looking at the myriad intricate details to be found there. The pieces that have resulted from the raw material provide a map, not only of the wallum through the seasons but also a map of an artistic, collaborative process. The marks and impressions on the jewellery and vessels are intended to draw the viewer over the surface and into the wallum and the creative process.
Shannon Garson began her career as a painter, completing a Bachelor of Visual Art from Queensland University of Technology in 1993. Her thrown porcelain vessels decorated with lively drawings are collected by regional museums throughout Australia. In 2005 Shannon received a Churchill Fellowship which enabled her to spend 3 months in Europe where she was studied the ceramics of the medieval and Renaissance periods. Shannon exhibits throughout Australia, her work is stocked by Craft Victoria in Melbourne, Planet Furniture, Salmon Galleries in Sydney, and Beaver Galleries in Canberra., Australia and many galleries in America.