Monday, 31 December 2012


Well maybe it’s not an era in the true sense of the word, but it’s definitely the end of this chapter of my life, the conclusion of my ‘annus prodigiosus’!

True to form, I’m continuing my tradition of chasing deadlines …. in a blog post just before my exhibition I mentioned that I was making the eleventh flower hanging at the eleventh hour of the eleventh month … so now I’m writing this post on the last day of 2012!

Ah well, as they say “if it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done”.
So, without further ado, here’s the story of my two final events.


At the Gardens each year the Botanical Artists have an exhibition of their work and the artist-in-residence is traditionally invited to participate.
It was advertised in the Quest newspapers …

In past years this combined exhibition has been in early December, but this time it was moved to mid-November.
So there was to be no rest for the wicked ….

After ten wonderful days of talking to lots of visitors during my exhibition at Richard Randall Studio, I didn’t have time to feel sad, because the following day (Thursday 15 November) Jill, Nat and Dave helped me relocate many of my collaborative pieces up to the Auditorium.
I knew in advance that there wouldn’t be room for them all.

Unfortunately there was a lot of heavy rain (and hail) during the weekend which probably kept some visitors away.
Maybe I should invent a new career path for myself ... anywhere in Australia suffering drought can offer me an exhibition space and I’ll do the rest!

Nevertheless those who came were enthusiastic about my display (and of course they enjoyed the botanical art exhibits as well).
So I hope you (dear readers) will settle yourselves comfortably and virtually follow me round
the Auditorium (well, actually only the parts where my display was located).

The “Fragrant Flags” were displayed on three panels near the front door.
Several people commented that the flags looked totally different when pinned on display boards … they had been strung in a line under the picture rail in Richard Randall Studio … yes, some of my dear friends actually came to BOTH exhibitions – such dedication!

A small garland of the “Swishy Swathes” was pinned on the end of these boards and linked into “Tropical Profusion”.


The “Flowers of Friendship” hangings were also displayed on this wall near the entrance, and many of the exhibiting botanical artists, as well as the visitors, were very effusive in their praise of this community project.


The rest of my ‘stuff’ was displayed near the kitchen area.

My visitors’ book, raffle and merchandise, including a rack of gift cards, were on the left.

On the front table, from left to right, were
“Japanese Garden Reveries”
“Floral Folds”
“Tangled Nature”
“Plants bookswap”

Then the display continued with
“Environmental Elucidations”
“Seasons bookswap”
“Naturally Collaborative”
“A-I-R mail Project”

On the table at the back, from left to right, were
“Wata the Water Dragon”
“Grevillea Grandeur”
“Floral Fantasy”
“Woven Words”

“Naturally InSPIREd” was displayed at the end of this table.

On the back wall were
“Paired Printings”
“Forest Fusion”
“The Importance of Trees”
some of “Fascination with Foliage”

Most of “Emergence” was in an alcove to the side.

The remaining “Emergence” pod and some more of “Fascination with Foliage” as well as my display poster were tucked around the back, hopefully providing a drawcard to visitors returning from the refreshment area.

Then, all too soon, it was time to dismantle everything.

I’m trying to put on a brave face, but Jill and Dave look very relieved and happy!

The last stage of the dismantling process took place in early December when I took down the webs … the trees looked very bare, and (like the blue netting web) I felt quite deflated!


On 2 December, as a final activity for the year, we decorated the Shaving Brush Tree near the Visitors’ Kiosk at the entrance to the gardens.

The ‘Hug me Tight” that was tied around this same tree for the Winter Solstice celebrations in June again saw the light of day, this time draped over some glitzy fabric.
This knitted blanket was originally made for the Jumpers & Jazz festival in Warwick, so it’s had a few airings in different guises!

.... and people still all come and voluntarily hug it (honestly, I truly didn't stage these photos!)

Fortunately I was able to set up the activity under the shade of the large red umbrellas, so we were somewhat protected from the summer heat.

People of all ages enjoyed decorating cut paper shapes.


These were then tied on strings hanging from the branches.

Originally these were dangling down in long strands.

However, by the next day, they were getting overly-twisted and looking unruly ...

 ....  so Dave helped me loop the strings around the branches out of harm’s way.


By Christmas the wonderfully-variable Shaving Brush Tree had decked itself in glorious new foliage which perfectly matched the colours of the ‘Hug me Tight”!

Margot joined me as I gave the tree a final farewell hug – yes, it really was the end of my ‘annus prodigiosus’.

                .... what a truly fantastic year it’s been !!!!


Once I fully recover from my ‘post-exhibition malaise” I need to sort out some of my mess.
This photo shows just the overflow into the lounge room … and the rest of the house is even worse!

Then I plan to finish some of the collaborations that I didn’t get done in time for the exhibition.

My first priority is the "Focus on Nature" project in which people from all over the world emailed photos of plants.

I also want to make the rest of the family members for "Wata the Water Dragon", then photograph them in the gardens and make the book.

The final stitching in the "Flowers of Friendship" hangings needs to be finished … and then I hope to find it a ‘good home’ where it can remain on permanent display, and be seen by lots of people … a rather tall ask for something that is 4.5metres long and over 2 metres high.
So let me know if you’ve got any good ideas on solving that conundrum!

Watch this space (but don’t hold your breath) for the updates!

Thank you, dear readers, for following my journey throughout my amazing year … an ‘annus prodigiosus’ indeed!

Friday, 28 December 2012


After the frenetic rush to finish things in October, and the enjoyable time manning my exhibition, it seems to have taken me ages to come back down to earth and sort all my photos. 

This post-exhibition wrap-up was delayed as I frantically tried to finish making 150 Christmas cards … Christmas Eve was really far too late to post them, wasn’t it?   I’ve also been catching up on lost hours of sleep!

Anyway, here’s the belated story of how my final month of the residency panned out ….


On Monday 5 November, my husband Dave helped pack everything into two cars, and it was truly amazing that it all fitted so well! 


I owe a huge thankyou to my friends Jill Brose, Nat Billing and Floss Wainwright for helping me get everything set up. It was a lot to achieve in one day, and their expertise was invaluable.


I hung brightly-coloured spinners on the fence of the heritage-listed Richard Randall building, and hoped my display signs woudl attract hoardes of passing visitors.


For the first few days of the exhibition, the weather had been lovely - fine and not too hot, but unfortunately it rained heavily on the afternoon of my opening (Saturday 10 November).

I had hoped hundreds of people would come (and Dave had reluctantly bought enough food and wine to feed an army) but we weren’t snowed under (in any sense of the word!)
However I can’t totally blame the wet weather for the lack of people, because there were lots of other things on around town that day, and anyway, those who came seemed to enjoy themselves.

Margot MacManus (Visitor Services Officer at the Gardens, and my supervisor/liaison throughout the year) and Ross McKinnon OAM (the Curator) spoke glowingly about what I had achieved and said I had put in 150% effort. They have been very pleased with all the activities that I have organised for visitors to the gardens throughout the year, and all the collaborative projects I have undertaken.

Unfortunately I’ve got no photos of this actual opening, but hopefully people who took some will send them to me!


It was a great pleasure to talk to the people who visited throughout the nine days at Richard Randall Studio.
If you weren’t able to get there, here’s a snapshot (or two or three) of how it all looked.

Detailed descriptions of these pieces are in my previous posts (leading up to the exhibition) so I won’t repeat them here.

I’ve grouped the exhibits in several separate areas, so, once you get inside, you’ll have to imagine you are moving around the room in a clockwise direction ….


VISITORS’ TREE (“Branching Far and Wide”)
If you looked up when you first walked in the door, you would have seen the branches of leaves on which many hundreds of my visitors throughout the year have written their names.



The wall on the left took on a real ‘naturey’ look ….

(in collaboration with Joanna Faber)
Joanna: photos of grevillea flowers printed on handmade paper
Tricia: descriptive phrases lettered around these images

(in collaboration with some members of “Basketcases”)
Nat Billing, Jill Brose, Angela Geertsma & Floss Wainwright: woven and twined leaves from natural fibres
Tricia: three woven leaves with threaded lettering.

(in collaboration with Lyn Baxter and Sue Ford)

Framed collage incorporating painting, dyeing, wet felting, embroidery, silk paper, machine embellishing, crochet, knitting, beading, lettering.

(in collaboration with the “Paper Princesses”)
Marilena Stanton, Celeste Santin, Gaye Todd, Judy Timmins, Kasha Rolley, Margaret Cullen-Erickson & Marlene Lynne-Truman: stamped and collaged tags, all featuring a nature theme.
Tricia: three stamped tags with calligraphy


A continuous slideshow featured images of most of my projects during construction and also many of the activities I organised for members of the public.

Visitors were entranced listening to the sounds of nature in a soundtrack composed and recorded by my nephew, percussionist Matthew Horsley.

(in collaboration with Helen King)
Helen: grevillea and wattle designs printed on fabric.
Tricia: descriptive phrases embellished with gold embroidery.

(in collaboration with the “Serendipity Art Group”)
Muffin Rowlands, Joy Nelson, Barbara Richardson, Jen Pezaro, Suzanne Clifford, Wendy Perkins & Fay Hayden: double-sided flags inspired by the herbs and flowers in the Fragrant Garden, and incorporating words.
Tricia: one panel featuring roses and lettering.



Throughout the year I have organised many activities for members of the public who visited the gardens.
On this table I displayed some of the things we had made ...

  • “Year of the Farmer” Easter Holiday Activities (Origami Butterflies and Ladybugs, Wacky Windmills, Fruit & Vegetable Printing)
  • Mothers’ Day (Card making)
  • Tree of Hope (for World Environment Day)
  • June exhibition (Nature Printing)
  • Winter Solstice (Wreaths, Candle-holders)
  • Far Out Forests (Wearable Art from Nature)
  • Japan Week (Origami Cranes for World Peace, Stars for Tanabata)
  • Web words (Writing messages on webs)
  • September Holiday Activities (Fascinating Fibonacci Fun - Books, Spring Celebration - Light Catchers, Water Dragon Dalliance - Jewellery)



This small garland was a token representing the larger swathes currently decorating various locations in the gardens ...
  • in the Bus Stop shelter shed
  • in the Tropical Dome shelter shed
  • in the Fragrant Garden shelter shed
  • on the fence near the café
  • inside the Gardens Tour Bus
  • above the Garden Room seat
Gay McEwan, Joanne Jayne, Tess Murray & Felicity Clarke: some of the fabric flowers and leaves.
Tricia: crochet, knitted, fabric flowers, leaves and vines

(in collaboration with my cousin Gay McEwan)
Gay: fabric flowers and leaves
Tricia: crocheted and knitted flowers, leaves and vines; lettering; garment design and construction

(in collaboration with 355 friends)
This project was assembled but not fully finished for my June exhibition, and then more people wanted to contribute, so some of the squares had to be rearranged!
There are now 495 flower squares joined into eleven hangings.
Participants (aged from 2 to 92 years): painting, patchwork, appliqué, crochet, knitting, lacework, candlewicking, goldwork, cross stitch, canvas embroidery, bullion stitch, beading, felting, dyeing, weaving, hand made paper, fabric collage, photography, paper tole, quilling, machine embroidery, paper collage, button work, thread painting, screen printing, basketry, ceramics, metalwork and more.
Tricia: one flower square for each of the eleven hangings; construction; lettering on joining strips

Some of my visitors spent hours looking at the flowers carefully, analysing the variety of techniques and choosing their favourites!
I have created a list showing the location of each participant’s flower(s), so if you want to know where a specific one is placed, or you’d like a close-up photo, please just ask.


(in collaboration with friends from “Scattered Arts” Community Gallery)
Ailsa McEvoy, Pam O’Reilly, Barbara Merrin, Kit Thomas, Wendy Goode, Helen Reid, Patsie Wishart, Carolyn Morgan & Jan Steer: 3D butterflies in stitched fabric, cut paper, painted plastic, beaten metal, knitting, crochet, silversmithing and more.
Tricia: one butterfly in ‘stained glass’ paper collage with lettering; flowers and leaves for the foliage on top.

(in collaboration with "Pulp Action")
Joanna Faber, Ngaire Macleod, Sandra Pearce, Jan Pearce, Jill Brose & Nat Billing: papier-maché cones made from plant-fibre paper, embellished with plant materials and found objects.
Tricia: one cone made from banana paper; lettering on other cones

(in collaboration with Jill Brose)
Jill: basketry structures in natural fibres (stylised cocoons, seed pods and nest)
Tricia: lettering on fabric strips and papier-maché balls


On the wall closest to the street and on the back of the entrance wall I set up a display of some of cards, artist books, boxes, jewellery and other merchandise which I have been selling in various galleries over the last few years.
On these tables there was also information about various craft groups, publicity cuttings, the raffle prize (won by Naomi W), my visitors’ book and the leaves for visitors to sign.

(one of my non-collaborative projects)
These boards feature words and phrases about nature, as well as plant materials and paper cut-outs, encased in layers of clear and coloured encaustic wax.

The Visitors’ Tree looked very luxuriant from this side of the room!

Now that your virtual tour has taken you full circle round the outer perimeter of the room, it’s time to explore the tables in the centre … but first here’s some general shots (travelling around the room clockwise).


(in collaboration with hundreds of people)
People from all around the world decorated and posted 249 envelopes with a nature theme.
On the left hand side of each one I had added a strip with holes, and I decided to group them based on the sender’s location. They were bound with rings and this meant that, as they were constantly rotated, a selection of different ones were on top of each pile throughout the exhibition.
Some of my visitors spent several hours admiring the collection and examining each one in great detail.


(one of my non-collaborative projects)
I created this scroll to celebrate the diversity of plants throughout the world, many of which are represented in the microcosm of the gardens at Mt Coot-tha.
The scientific names of all the families of trees throughout the world are written on a background collage of different handmade papers. Important requisites for human survival are lettered in gold) over the word “biodiversity”.

(in collaboration with some of the staff and volunteers at Mt Coot-tha Gardens)
Ray Steward, Paul Harrop, Jankees van der Have, Jill Don, Jan Costin & Elspeth Galletly: close-up photos of flowers at Mt Coot-tha.
Tricia: square format prints folded into kaleidoscopic origami shapes; cornucopia basket for display.

(in collaboration with my sister Alison Horsley)
Alison: haiku poetry
Tricia: calligraphy, photography, book design and construction

BOOK SWAP - “Plants” theme
(in collaboration with 11 friends)
Nat Billing, Lorelei Clark, Susan Doel, Joanna Faber, Ngaire Macleod, Jan Pearce, Sandra Pearce, Elisa Ristuccia, Lyn Rushby, Kaye Stanton & Annette Waraker: a handmade book about plants.
Tricia: “Japanese Garden Reveries”

(in collaboration with my sister Alison Horsley)
Alison: children’s story about a water dragon living in the gardens at Mt Coot-tha
Tricia: fabric lizard
Future plans: make six more lizards, photograph them at Mt Coot-tha and create a book.

(in collaboration with many members of “Book & Paper Group”)
Nat Billing, Jill Brose, Elaine Buhmann, Christine Butler, Elizabeth Cresswell, Sue Ford, Karin Hannigan, Di Harwood, Vicki Jones, Claire Nixon, Jan Pearce, Sandra Pearce, Rosemary Phillips, Yvonne & Alan Ritson, Lyn Rushby, Heather Salmon, Carmel Schneider, Maria Shaw, Kym Textor, Judy Timmins, Lena Tisdall & Annette Waraker: a page with a nature theme.
Tricia: a double sided page with stamping and calligraphy; book cover & construction.

(in collaboration with various friends throughout Australia)
Tricia: book design and construction; calligraphy of quotes by environmentalist John Muir.
  • Carolyn Morrisey (Melbourne): computer art, collage.
  • Erica Michaux (Brisbane): drawings, paintings.
  • Annette Sibson and friends from “Fibres & Fabrics” (Townsville): collage.
  • Marilena Stanton, Celeste Santin & Kasha Rolley from “Paper Princesses" (Qld & NSW): drawings, collage.
  • Jane Rundle and her friends and family (Brisbane): drawings, collage, quilting.
  • Judy Barrass and friends) from Wallace House (Noosa): drawings, collage.
  • Zela Bissett, Gympie drawings, collage.
  • Susan Pietsch (Brisbane); collage.
  • Sonja Smout (Brisbane): doodles, collage.

(in collaboration with most members of “Book & Paper Group”)
Vashti-Sita Bardsley, Nat Billing, Jill Brose, Elaine Buhmann, Christine Butler, Pam Cox, Elizabeth Cresswell, Bronwyn Edwards, Lynne Fellowes, Sue Ford, Di Harwood, Vicki Jones , Ngaire Macleod, Claire Nixon, Jan Pearce, Sandra Pearce, Rosemary Phillips, Alan Ritson, Yvonne Ritson, Heather Salmon, Carmel Schneider, Maria Shaw, Marilena Stanton, Kym Textor, Lena Tisdall, Ann Volter & Annette Waraker: black pen and graphite pencil doodles.
Tricia: book design & construction.
Jill: extra doodling to fill gaps and unify the designs.

(in collaboration with Jill Brose)
Tricia: composing descriptive phrases & lettering these on paper strips
Jill: design and construction of 3 baskets

(in collaboration with "Broadstrokes")
Bundles of materials were hung in trees and buried, and decomposed over 3 months
Suzanne Marshall, Kate Oszko, Kathryn Iliff, Jane Rundle, Mel Forrest, Merody Buglar, Chris Jones & Sue Dennis: A3 page created from decomposed materials
Tricia: one page from my bundles; design & construction of book

(one of my non-collaborative projects)
Each page of this book is made of a different natural fibre paper, and features one letter of the word “biodiversities” drawn in the shape of a tree, and each page also has a word starting with this letter, which combine to form a coherent sentence…. Biological Individuality Of Diverse Interesting Variable Ecosystems Requires Systematic Investigation To Improve Environmental Sustainability.

(in collaboration with Jill Brose)
Jill: three abstract flowers in fabric, wire and beads; design of project
Tricia: descriptive phrase lettered on ribbon

BOOK SWAP - “Seasons” theme
(in collaboration with 5 friends)
Nat Billing, Susan Doel, Gill Pyke, Annette Waraker & Robyn Wood: a handmade book about the seasons.
Tricia: a pyramidal book with quotes in calligraphy.

(in collaboration with many others)
70 people from all over the world: email photos of plants (close-up detailed views).
Alison Horsley: poetic phrases to accompany the images
Tricia: calligraphy, book design & construction

This project was not finished in time for the November exhibition, but should be completed early in 2013.

The spiders' webs remained on display in the trees near the Gardens entrance until early December.

.... This is getting way too long, and even my most dedicated followers will be tuning out, so I’ll continue the ‘rest of the year’ saga in my next post.