Lucky, the Patron Saint for All Things Protected, TOGA Art Award winner, 2013
My woven sculpture explorations expanded from jellyfish to crocodiles when I participated in the Artists in the Parks program at the Territory Wildlife Park in 2014. I fell in love with their handsome resident four-metre-long crocodile, affectionately known as Graham. I spent many an hour sitting near Graham, weaving and watching. I was given regular and behind the scenes access at the park, which is a vast nature playground situated 50 kilometres south of Darwin. I frequented the park frequently so as to research ideas for new work as well as engage the broader community through ghost net weaving workshops. My favourite place to be was the walk-through aquarium, which houses some of the Top End’s most amazing aquatic life, including Graham. I held workshops with adults and children in the aquarium, where we wove baskets, sculpture and even Christmas decorations from discarded marine refuse, which poses a threat to many of the water species found in the Wildlife Park’s under water sanctuary
This time with Graham resulted in new work, where I have extended upon processes used previously to make my jellyfish and mermaids to give form and life to some crocodile skulls. One of the resulting ghostly figures that emerged was titled Lucky – The Patron Saint for all Things Protected , so named because crocodiles are a protected species, unlike many of the water dwelling creatures in the Northern Territory who are suffering from marine debris and other ill-willed human activities.
I too felt lucky to have had the opportunity to spend so much time in the presence of such a magnificent beast, and the art work lived up to his name as a recipient of the 2013 TOGA Art award and now resides in the TOGA group collection.