It was a paddock with knee high grass (detail)

Nicola Moss
It was a paddock with knee high grass (detail), 2018
Hand cut papers, synthetic polymer paint, collagraph and relief prints, frottage, rust stain.
Dimensions variable – Installation: approximately 320 x 210cm


Inspired by my own garden in the North Gold Coast hinterland, the title is how I often begin describing our place to people. The artwork features my garden boots, part of the hoop pine – I see it each day outside my studio; A dark silhouette of the eastern treeline, buckets – my most used garden tool; tube stock pots, plant pots, a she-oak seed cone, a rock, a stem of flowering lacebark tree (ochre yellow), foliage of Swamp Banksia (pale grey), Hakea branches (blue), golden penda flowers (rust stain and cream); fencing wire; mulberry tree branches (palest grey – left); a moon with hoop pine silhouette; and a bird – honeyeater (not in this image detail). Papers used include actual seed packets from the seeds I sowed of River She-oak (now over 10 metres tall in the garden). I often use rust stain to symbolise time passing, here in the paper cut of seasonal flowers of Golden Penda. The buckets are cut from pages of a second hand book –͚Australian Nature Studies͛, I have learnt and seen a lot living here. I think this large wall installation also makes a counterpoint to the Japanese green space works by having so much space around it …a bit like Australia – we have a lot of space.

I think of this place as Hoop pine country, adapted to farming land, our paddock was never ploughed and has a huge pile of rough rock in one area. Every plant I have put in the ground has required the removal of rock to make a plant hole. Ownership and boundaries are a strange concept when it comes to land – one that seeds and animals do not adhere to. I have seen so much diversity of life here. I am reminded that I am, and the plants around me are, made of the same stuff that the universe is made of.

Photo: Carl Warner. Courtesy of the artist and Onespace Gallery.