The natural world is my inspiration. Daily walks around Forest Creek, same track always different. The creek, the weather, the rhythm of the seasons, the detailed changes – these are the source of my collected impressions to reassemble in the studio.
The layering action of nature resonates. This is my starting point for the first laying down of an image to be revised and overlaid many times until the work has a density and complexity that allows a recognition of something as it happens rather than knowing something in advance. These layers can include drawing, ink, paint, dyes, muslin, cast paper, stitch.
After completing art school in 1973, for a number of years I worked for the Australian Opera as a scenic artist, props maker and wardrobe art finisher, moving on to become head of scenic art. It was here that I discovered the breadth of possibilities and richness of large scale collaborative art making. During my freelance years I have built a diverse body of work that includes fine art, scenic art, design, costume, props, masks and sculpture.
GREG SOMERVILLE “…stitched to everything in the universe…”
My training and early work as a biologist/ecologist, has led me to use the insights of science, especially ecology, in my artistic output. The imagery I utilise is grounded in the patterns, textures and minutiae of the bioregion in which I live. They are also informed by my knowledge of biological structures, the energies and relationships found in ecosystems, within the micro and macroscopic.
I aspire to the communication of the delight of complexity: the patterns of water drops on leaves, the way lichen spreads on sandstone or the manner in which trees co-inhabit the landscape.
Or as John Muir, a 19th Century environmentalist stated:
“How deeply with beauty is beauty overlaid! The ground covered with crystals, the crystals with mosses and lichens and low spreading grasses and flowers, these with large plants leaf over leaf with ever-changing colour and form, the broad palms of the firs outspread over these, the azure dome over all like a bell-flower, and star above star.”