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Jodie Munday

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Jodie Munday is a visual artist whose practice encompasses drawing using various mediums, photography, printmaking, pottery, wood burning and painting. Using Celtic, Aboriginal and British heritage, Munday represents nature and the environment.

Stage One

Tell us about the evolution of your concept through this creative development process.

My concept has evolved in a better understanding of the amount of native animals that are endangered within my study area from Kangara-Boyd to Wyangla Corridor. In only the past few weeks our Greater Gliders have been listed as endangered. Along with Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo, Ghan Ghan, Lyre Bird, Scarlet Robin, Legless Lizard, Spotted Quolls, and many others.

The devastating effect of the fires within this corridor has also seen many animals decline in numbers or completely relocate to other areas altogether with new colonies of koalas being found in two locations on the western side of the Tarlo River. Our native vegetation has also been impacted in both negative and positive ways with regrowth thriving and new growth development in previous non growing areas. This is combination of fire, drought, winds and floods moving seeds, and also a greater awareness and more action regarding the reestablishment and protection of this vegetation.

To begin with many of my works were going to be presented on a flat surface in the form of drawing and paintings that were developed as a result of the investigation process. I now find myself wanting to create work of a more tactile and fibrous nature. I have experimented with a wooden paint board attaching wooden rounds to this board to become a raised and tactile element of the work which represents a healthy clear creek bed and animal ecosystem.

I find myself wanting to use things from the environments I am studying, such as leaves, feathers, sticks and bark, to create elements of texture in my works. I have also as a result of this process begun exploring my weaving practice in more detail and from a more sustainable approach, by exploring materials other than raffia  (wool, netting, plastic and newspaper) that can be woven into decorative or functional pieces. Turning unused or wasted products into art forms such as wall hangings, bowls, bags shapes reflecting nests and animal dens for eggs and young.

The intricate patterns found in many animal skins, fur and feathers and on objects within the habitats and ecosystems has led me to explore texture in more ways, including engraving or carving of wood to compliment my wood burning practice.

What experts/community members did you connect with during your creative development?

I have connected with Upper Lachlan Land Care in particular Ruth Aveyard on many occasions including at a recent weaving workshop that I ran at Goulburn Regional Art Gallery. I have had indepth conversations with Mary Bonet – K2W Greater Eastern Ranges and Greater Gliders Project regarding my work and the aim of raising awareness of the issues our animals and vegetation are having within this corridor.

I also had the opportunity through this connection to attend a FireSticks event in Northern Queensland in July over 5 days with a variety of workshops including cultural burning, dancing, weaving, corroboories.

I have met with and spoken to Gundungurra Elder, David King many times about this project, about the benefits of my study and work raising awareness of our native plants and animals & the importance of this area to Aboriginal people, the dreaming stories and song lines.

I have aimed to create connection for our people and healing by providing a path of reconciliation between environmentalists and Aboriginal people. My focus is also running healing workshops using traditional weaving techniques for women and items from Country to create a deeper connection to Country while producing artworks.

I have met with Tracy Luff, another Regional Futures artist from my region and we are working towards running workshops together in the future using weaving and Tracy’s skill set to provide a safe space both culturally and artistically for women and children who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence.

“Regional Futures has opened a world of other artists and people with a passion similar to mine for how our future could look from environmental, social and cultural perspectives.”

– Jodie Munday

Describe where your work has reached in the development process and how you can see it progressing.

I am ready to explore further into the Southern Highlands. I am at the stage where I am collating photographs and images of the area & its animals; and collecting seeds, bark and grass for detailed study of habitats and ecosystems. I have also begun experimenting, combining 2D and 3D elements and playing with different fibres and shapes in my weaving practice. I hope to develop works that people can engage with and some that they are able to feel and connect with from a nurturing perspective through cocoons, baskets and nest shapes in my weaving & the textured material in my paintings and drawings. I want to draw viewers into the fight our native plants and animals are having, to not only survive but to thrive in this country

If you were to tell someone about the impact of Regional Futures and this creative development opportunity on your practice, what would you say to them?

Regional Futures has opened a world of other artists and people with a passion similar to mine for how our future could look from environmental, social and cultural perspectives. There are many creatives out there who have the power through their different skills, experience, expertise and knowledge to engage the community in different ways to take steps to change our future.

The funding from this program has enabled me to travel to places and connect with people on Country and to collect samples of vegetation and photographs and information from animals within these areas that I would never have been able to do.

It has enabled me to purchase different mediums and products to develop and experiment in different areas of my work in a more in depth way. It has provided me with connections within the community with other artists with future collaborations becoming a possibility as time moves forward.

It has also opened a door to a relationship developing between myself and our local art gallery. I will be leading a weaving workshop during Naidoc Week using natural, found and man-made objects for women to weave and chat, a cultural practice my people have done for many generations. This opportunity and program is something I will never regret. This stage alone has given me connections, experience, confidence and the financial ability to push my work in a bigger direction and to look at the bigger possibilities for healing for County and people in our community.

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