Anne Mckenzie Botanic Calligraphic Art
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Materials and Process
My banners distill the complex visual and emotional experience of looking at trees and plants into responsive, conscious and exploratory calligraphic marks that convey the moment of creation . I am inspired by calligraphic traditions especially Shodo with its emphasis on mu-shin, creating a clear mind, as this enables me to simply look and to make pure, fresh and true marks. I also like the Buddhist practice of brushing sutras to accrue merit. It feels timely to brush my botanic 'sutras' to value and appreciate the importance of our environment. i hope that the pieces convey this awe, appreciation, deep respect and enjoyment.
All of the banners are painted using handmade brushes and very dilute acrylic paint. I use handmade Japanese paper when possible as each piece of paper retains the character of the maker. The larger tree banners are painted on unbleached Kozo which has been made using machine processes. I paint on the ground in Kew Gardens or if I have managed to grow suitable plants I paint on my studio floor. I stretch and iron the paper once the painting is complete and apply bookbinder's paste to a simple wooden batten for easy hanging that allows the full sheet of paper to be seen.
Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood', Kew Gardens and Hansarashi Kozo