Gum Nutty


Screenshot 2015-12-13 14.05.46
Original linocut used in Gum Nutter pattern

The original lino cut featuring grey gum leaves and nuts was created whilst I was living in Philadelphia in 1988. For an Australian girl like me, who loved the balmy Australian climate, winter in Philadelphia was very hard to endure – icy winds whistling through our apartment windows and salty snow churned up in the city streets … I felt so far from home and longed for the wild abandon of a gum tree or an afternoon sea breeze in summer …

It was in this state of mind that I discovered, to my delight, a small bunch of gum branches for sale in Reading Terminal Market.

The distinctive ghostly grey gum nuts and thick foliage seemed so much at odds with the violet coloured tissue paper the flower seller had wrapped them in.

Eucalyptus tetragona Pic ©

On returning home I immediately started to sketch my little piece of Australia, immersing myself in the strong geometric sentiments of the gum nut and leaves. It wasn’t long before the chipping of lino revealed the final decorative image – a tribute to the uniqueness of our Australian world, the things we remember and the things we miss. The strange whiteness of the branches is accentuated in the fabric which mirrors the image as it repeats, creating a merge of wall and flower.