50 x 50cm Inkjet photographic print on cotton rag paper with pastel by Sharee Harper
This work is an outcome of Baluk Arts’ Gumbadik (Soft Tree Fern) project which connected local Aboriginal people of diverse heritage to one of the few original natural environments of the Mornington Peninsula. Endeavour Fern Gully in Red Hill which is managed by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria), holds a rich history and cultural significance which captured the imagination of this important collective of Indigenous artists.
For Sharee, history has been difficult to reconnect with and she is still searching for her family tree. Sharee lives in Ferntree Gully and is a Botanist specialising in Indigenous plants and is currently working at Monash University at the Aboriginal garden. Although Sharee’s artistic practice spans across medium, she has a particular interest in working with natural materials and processes like weaving, clay work and jewellery making.
"Oozing blood red gum is healing for the tree and human wounds too. I remember how snug I felt staying overnight in a shelter made from strips of stringy bark. An elder at a festival in Euroa once showed me how to make 2ply string from the bark."