Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Bärbel Ullrich

Artist’s statement

Barbel UllrichMy interest lies in the complexities, layers and mysteries of nature, land and environment. My work explores the notion of ‘place’ and the essence of place – where the land is not only observed but experienced through emotion and intuition. I wish to represent the essence of the place, its form, structure and surface appearance.

In my work I have taken a different approach than representing the traditional ‘view’ of the land. I have worked in collaboration with nature/land and have created images from and with/within the landscape rather than of the landscape. My process is to interact with the environment and to leave the canvas out in the weather, buried using materials found in the environment such as dirt, water and charcoal. After a period of time, I take the work back to the studio and build up layers with overprinting, drawing and collaging.

This process allows me to capture aspects of the rhythms, energy and movements in the environment. The details explore the microcosm, fractal patterns, textures, colours and shapes, especially the local characteristics of specific places.

Concepts include time, change, growth and chance. Reference is made to the elemental forces and symbols in the environment – water, wood, rocks, leaves, earth, drought and rain. The order and form in nature and the creative force pervading all nature is of particular interest to me and a focus for the work. The idea of the interconnectedness of all life on earth is my philosophical basis.

I aim to capture the richness, variety, delicacy and spirit of our fragile environment.