Fertile Ground is a solo exhibition by Canberra based textile artist Julie Ryder. This exhibition consists of new and existing works that use natural materials for their creation and inception. Plant extracts have been used as dyes and watercolours for paper and textiles; pollens, volcanic ash and ochres have been used in screen-printed images; and natural materials such as leaves, thorns and bones are used to create exquisite works on paper. Photomicrographs of plants and insects gathered during residencies at the ANBG and CSIRO have been digitally manipulated to form strange new species of the future.
A former career in science has left its legacy in the way that Ryder approaches and creates new artwork – she is constantly gathering, collecting, storing and collating materials until the right moment to use them – her credo is that the material acts as a powerful messenger for her ideas. Every artwork tells a story, and in Ryder’s work she investigates and researches stories that are not often told, or lie hidden beneath the surface of a subject. However aesthetically pleasing the work may be, there is always more to it than meets the eye.
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