You will begin with a guided meditative walk in one of the many hidden forest paths of the Dandenong Ranges. We will do an extended Acknowledgement of Country, and I'll share some of my intimate knowledge of the place you are in, as well as some of my personal encounters with flora and fauna of the area. You will activate all of your senses and soak in the beauty and wonder of this temperate rainforest, breathing and tasting the clean fresh air, hearing the diverse birdsong and the wind rustle the leaves of ancient Mountain Ash trees, smell the rich humus of the volcanic soils and freshness of trickling streams that run all through the undergrowth, touch soft mosses and the fronds of huge tree ferns, and feel your heart and soul begin to rest easy in the forest's embrace. Once you are deeply connected with your surroundings and your self, you'll begin to seek and find plant materials to collect and take back to the studio. I will teach you how to forage respectfully, when/where it's ok to collect and when to leave the plants alone. Then you will return to the studio where we'll eat and chat while we create a unique ink from the collected materials. You'll do some paintings/drawings with the ink you have made, along with some other inks I have created from locally foraged materials, and take a sample of ink with you as a souvenir of the experience.
I am a magnetic, warm and open-hearted interdisciplinary artist trained at Curtin University (WA) and Victorian College of the Arts (VIC) who has run workshops and events and performed around the country for 10+ years. I run my own arts business, entwineArts, and have directed multiple local arts festivals that celebrate the Dandenong Ranges. I am trained as a visual artist, poet, performance artist, musician and community engaged arts practitioner. I am a jack of all trades, always curious and learning as well as teaching continually. I have a passion for nature, for nurturing creativity in others, and helping people to deeply connect to the place they are in.
A delicious homemade vegetarian organic meal with vegan option.
For those without a vehicle, I can take up to 4 people in my car to the forest and back from Belgrave train station.
Fine watercolour paper for ink testing; Jars for ink storage; Paintbrushes / quills; All ink making supplies
We will begin on one of the many hidden forest paths of Corhanwarrabul (Mt Dandenong) that I have discovered from my years of wandering the forested mountain tracks. I'll take you to a track that is rarely visited by tourists. For the ink-making part of the experience, we'll head to Two Floors, a local arts and music venue in a street art plastered alleyway in Belgrave.
We will be walking a little, so be sure to wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and shoes for walking in. Also don't wear your fanciest clothes as they may get dirty from the foraging & ink-making. Bring your own snacks if you would like, and your own water too.
Making natural ink with a local artist