I’m an assemblage artist and a caretaker of over 800 acres of woodlands, heathlands and wetlands on the wild south coast of Kangaroo Island, South Australia. It’s a precious swathe of ecological antiquity, where thousands of species have coevolved for millennia and developed highly complex relationships.
My art practice sprang from the study of the plants on the property. I use the traditional preservation techniques of museums and herbariums to distil and draw attention to the details that I find in the landscape. I collect, identify, press, dry, sort and assemble materials, and glue and then stitch them to canvas. The completed works are framed behind glass.
Some pieces remind me of the kinds of things we see through telescopes or microscopes; others reference the grids of scientific vegetation surveys but are also reminiscent of domestic patchwork quilts – expressions of intimate devotion to home.
The artworks reflect my evolving personal love affair with the landscape – my endless joy, fascination and utmost respect; but also my concern, sorrow and fierce protectiveness for this unique place. Yet, I hope they resonate in a universal language: that I’ve created windows on the natural world, which ignite a sense of wonder, invite sustained contemplation and inspire conservation.
My work is held in public and private collections around Australia, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, USA, Canada, France, China, Switzerland, Thailand, Germany, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Puerto Rico, Dubai and Japan.
© Janine Mackintosh, All Rights Reserved 2017