Vignette - opal colours that glow and fade, 2020
Graphite, 11 cm x 14.5 cm, framed in raw timber box frame with soft gold face 33.5 cm x 37.5 cm.
These little fungi I found under some eucalypts. In life it is only a few centimetres high. Orange in colour with dark broken stripes over its dome I found these when they were slowly returning to the soil. I decided to draw them without colour, focusing on their pattern and sculptural beauty.
Fungi are so very important to ecosystems everywhere. Together with bacteria, fungi are responsible for breaking down organic matter and releasing carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorus into the soil and the atmosphere.
While fungi are like opals, coming in many and beautiful colours, they do not survive in a showy form for very long. Their colours fade quickly and they return to the cool, dark soil.
The title for this work comes from the poem "The Colours of Light" by well known Australian poet, Dorothea Mackellar.