Completed during the last four months of my time living and working in Ernabella (a remote Aboriginal community located in the far northwest of South Australia) this new body of work draws on the vivid colours that make up the complexion of the desert. Each vessel is a visual representation of different elements found in the dry, arid central Australia that I came to call home for the past two and a half years.
Key components of the desert are abstracted and cast into a variety of pattern and colour. Inspiration is drawn from red rocks burning as the sun rusts them slowly as time goes by. The Sturt Desert Pea peeking with their glossy black eyes as they bloom scarlet red among the sunburnt ground. The prickly spinifex glowing yellow in hot orange sand dunes with cobalt blue skies illuminating everything beneath. The ghost gums casting blue shadows with little, playful Corellas peppered within their leaves. Rosy galahs look on as singing budgies flock together after the heaviest rainfall in a decade. The flash of yellow as an Australian Ringneck silently fly past.
Together, the vessels echo the technicolour radiance of the desert during the last light of the day, stretching endless in spectacular golden awe. The colours are combined with a series of lines that reflect that of a basket, becoming vessels that hold dear memories and experiences. The landscape and ambience within the bush have a deeper connection and exude an overarching nostalgia for the safari lands of the country I once called home, South Africa.
Creating these works acted as a catharsis for the emotions of leaving a place that significantly impacted every aspect of life. Collectively, they express the special remembering’s of my time in Ernabella.
Maricelle Olivier, 2021