TOAF takeover

#TOAFtakeover: Leonie Barton

Welcome to #TOAFtakeover, an Instagram series that gives you an insight into the work and life of our artists.

‘579 | As The Tide Wins (Wet Sticks on Tide Lines Sand)
Hello ! I am Leonie Barton and I’m so happy to be your Take Over Tuesday artist for the day. To introduce you to my arts practice, here is a recent piece of work, which should demonstrate how I work. I create an ephemeral artwork, using only what is found in the moment and from the ground. I use no tools and I do not pick from plants, only the found materials I gather while I walk. After the artwork has been photographed, I leave it behind for others to experience (unless it’s made of plastic). I do not photoshop the compositions, but I am prone to publishing them in B+W, with a weakness for high contrast images. To date there are 579 images in the series (the first 365 were sequential as a daily challenge) and these have been completed not only in my local area, but wherever I go in the world. I hope you enjoy looking at the everyday world a little differently through my eyes.’

‘Each day I post a wider context shot of my artwork onto social media, to give a sense of perspective, scale, materials and location. I create most days regardless of weather, circumstance or where I find myself in the world, which sometimes means a battle with the elements. On this occasion, I was racing the tide and in the end, the tide beat me.’

‘I love where I live. Pittwater, north of Sydney, Australia is beautiful ! A finger of land jutting out into the Pacific Ocean. There are 6 surf beaches within 10 minutes drive from my home and on the other side is the large still water bay, with dozens of its own small beaches and National Parks. It constantly challenges and inspires me. The lighthouse in the background of this shot, sits atop the Barrenjoey Headland and stands sentinel over both sides and is one of my touch stones in life.’

‘Working outside is wonderful but has its challenges. Rain, sun, heat, cold, tides, insects and leaches are all part and parcel of creating outside. But my greatest “tester” by far is WIND ! and while I don’t enjoy the wind, it has taught me great patience. I try to stick to a rule of walking, finding and creating within the space of an hour, but sometimes the wind has other ideas. In this instance, folding these Eucalyptus leaves upon themselves and pushing them into the sand, helped ………… a little.’

571 | AR Ledge 2 (Leaves on Sandstone Shelf) WIDE.
This sand stone rock shelf sits at the end of the sea pool at Palm Beach. I have walked past here, many times when the tide is low. But on this morning, I took a higher rock along the way and looked down, to see the contrast in colour, which worked perfectly for the leaves, I’d picked up on the way there.’

‘571 | AR Ledge 2 (Leaves on Sandstone Shelf).
A lot of what my art practice is about, is looking at everyday things, or familiar areas, with a fresh eye. Taking the time to look at things more carefully, allows me to see connections, be it a line, a shape, colour, texture etc. Sometimes it’s about looking at something that you’ve looked at many many times before, from a different perspective. As in this case, where looking down from the shelf provided a range of colour a to compose with.’

‘After the first few years of creating in the ephemeral process, I began to feel the need for something more permanent. I noticed that a lot of my photographs, were reminiscent of sculptures, that were laying down on the ground. I had never tried sculpture before, but wanted to apply one of my ephemeral designs, to a 3D form. This was my first attempt. I started small, with a Hebel block, some wire and a whole load of mean blisters. But I loved the experience. And I would like to continue.’

‘508 | AP Banana Blossoms 2 (Banana Blossom Sheaths + Sticks on Sand).
The COLOUR in this shot, is what makes it, close to my favourite in this series of images. Because I only use from the ground, more often than not, my materials are brown or black or grey. But occasionally I will get to work with something more brilliant. These Banana Blossom Sheaths must have fallen, only hours beforehand and if I’d been a few hours later, or a day earlier, I wouldn’t have found them in this condition at all.’

‘508 | AP Banana Blossom 2 (Banana Blossom Sheaths + Sticks on Sand) WIDE.
Doing the wider context shot, started because I wanted to share the beautiful area I live in. I am very grateful to live here and very fortunate to be able to create work, that is a direct response to it. Posting it to social media came about, because there were people local to me, who would go and look for it, which was a lovely connection. Sometimes they would post their own photos of it …… or what was left of it. The wide shot is also an insight into perspective, scale, materials, their size and in this case – heights. Thanks so much for having me The Other Art Fair. It was a good experience to look back at my own practice.’

Follow The Other Art Fair and catch #TOAFtakeover every other Tuesday on Instagram at @TheOtherArtFairAus

Follow Leonie Barton on Instagram at @LeonieBarton