Two years ago I made my first foray into digital prints, in Not Born Digital, a Goldfields Printmakers portfolio that explored the historic connection of the Victorian Goldfields with China during the gold rushes. The portfolio was presented at IMPACT 9, the international printmaking conference at Hangzhou, China in September 2015.
In the Victorian town of Newstead alone, there were over 3000 Chinese miners. The forest floor is still pockmarked with holes, enduring evidence of its gold mining history. The Eucalyptus leaves in LEAVES OF ABSENCE were sourced there because of their significance to the project but also because of their singular shapes - in part the result of interventions by my 'insect collaborators', the Eucalyptus tip bugs. (Their invaluable contribution rates a special mention on the book's colophon page).
My initial research included a study of historic Chinese women’s hairstyles. Reduced to shadow forms, however, the women could equally be from any place or time, including the present.