• Helen Stephens


Exhibition opens Sunday, 12 January at 2pm and continues until 1 March 2020

Helen Stephens Gallery, Collector

Liz Faul : Artist Statement

One of my earliest memories is of a sick magpie who lived with us briefly when I was about 2 years old. It’s so long ago that I really don’t remember many details, except that it had a livid red lump in its throat and sat on a chair at the kitchen table. But it stays with me because I was lucky enough to be part of a family which loved nature. My brother was obsessed with collecting butterflies: my mother was from the USA and was captivated by our beautiful parrots. My father was from Sydney and was always a keen observer of Canberra’s birdlife. 

Back then the city was much more within the natural environment than it is now. To live here was to be embraced by nature and I’ve loved it my whole life. 

These artworks evolved after I took several classes in wildlife illustration at NatureArt Lab in Canberra, as a way to expand my skills and develop different ways of working. They also reinvigorated distant memories of nature study at primary school, rambling through fields after insects and watching birds and lizards in the garden.

This exhibition is a cri de coeur for the natural environment and the beautiful creatures who share our world, who we are forgetting while we invade their habitats. The big annual swarms of bogong moths seem to be sadly lost, little birds no longer flit around my garden and I never see the huge summer murmurations of starlings anymore. But it also has been a joy to make the artworks and continue exploring materials, as well as the intelligent life that surrounds us.

My thanks go especially to Debbie Jennings and Jaime Florez at the Australian National Insect Collection at CSIRO, for sharing their knowledge and letting me photograph the fantastic beetle and bee collections. 

#artgallery #australianart #shoplocal #visitcollector #art #csiro

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