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Vignette – tints of the lichens that cling and spread, 2020

Vignette – tints of the lichens that cling and spread, 2020

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Watercolour & graphite, 13.5 cm x 7 cm, framed in raw timber box frame with soft gold face 38.5 cm x 33.5 cm.

It is estimated that 6% of Earth's land surface is covered by lichen.  Lichens occur in some of the most extreme environments on Earth - arctic tundra, hot deserts, rocky coasts, and toxic slag heaps; however, many are also vulnerable to environmental disturbance.

Lichens do not have roots and do not need to tap continuous reservoirs of water like higher plants, thus they can grow in locations impossible for most plants, such as bare rock, sterile soil or sand, and various artificial structures such as walls, roofs and monuments.  This little lichen was making its way across an old bottle lying in an old household dump in the bush, long abandoned, long forgotten. The bottle now echoes tints of green from the lichen.

The title for this work comes from the poem "The Colours of Light" by well known Australian poet, Dorothea Mackellar.