If there was ever a reason to explore South Australia’s various landscapes, simply look at Alice Blanch’s beautifully textured photographs of our region’s underrated outdoors. In our latest spotlight, the multi-award winning visual artist speaks of her fascination with clouds, and her love of Adelaide.
Q: Hello Alice! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
A: I am a practicing visual artist. I spend as much time as I can in the outdoors. I enjoy hiking in the bush. I like to travel a lot. Read a lot. And try not to ‘do’ too much with my time, but rather just ‘be’ in the present.
Between Sunrises #12, 2015
Q: Who inspires you? What inspires your art?
A: I am inspired by a whole range of things – mainly the natural environment. I spend a lot of my time outside, walking, hiking and simply being within the natural landscape so that I can experience its constantly changing state. I have a fascination with clouds. Clouds are a very important part of each and every photograph I take as they are like an ever-changing landscape in the sky. Each cloud formation is in constant flux and transition from one state to the next. Overall I would say that nature, and the feelings and emotions that I experience when I am in the natural environment, are the biggest inspirations for the creation of any of my artworks.
Q: Do you have a preferred medium?
A: I work mainly with analogue photography. I also create small pen drawings and watercolours, but photography has been the most appropriate way for me to communicate myself to date.
Box Brownie Colour Panorama #19
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: If I have to put it into words, I would say that the feel of my artworks is rich, textured and filled with emotion. I connect with artists and the artworks made in the Romantic period and feel that my style is in a similar vain to them.
Q: Can you please describe your artistic and creative process i.e.: from lingering idea to putting it into practice?
A: I don’t have ‘ideas’ so to speak. Never really have. I create my artwork by going out (usually into nature) and experiencing the things around me, looking and seeing, being present and patient, being in the moment. During these times I have a camera or two with me and use them to try to capture some of the magic and mood of the moments.
Flinders Island #10, 2014
Q: Where do you see your art practice taking you in the next five years?
A: I hope that over the next five years I can continue to feel inspired to create new artwork and that I have the time and space to do so. I hope to travel more widely within Australia, undertaking more artist residencies and to create new artworks in response to my times in different landscapes.
Q: If you could recommend one artist, who would it be?
A: I would recommend the writer Robert MacFarlane. He is a nature writer and his books are wonderfully poetic and artistic. I just finished “Mountains of the Mind” and found he was able to articulate many feelings that I experience within the landscape and try to capture through my artwork.
Box Brownie Colour Panorama #10, 2012
Q: What is your favourite gallery?
A: Nature! The landscape is my favourite gallery to visit. Nothing is as simply and fundamentally beautiful and inspiring as the outdoors. It is so beautiful because it isn’t trying to be beautiful, it is trying to survive and flourish but through this lack of awareness, it turns out to be the most wonderful of all.
Q: Where can we find more of your work?
Box Brownie Landscape #9, 2014
Q: If you had a choice to live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
A: I love living in Adelaide, there are other places in Australia and over the world that I wouldn’t mind living in for a short time, but Adelaide is my home. There is easy access to many walking tracks and the ocean. It is easy to get around and the population isn’t too large. I feel quite inspired by the landscape around South Australia, so I am glad to be able to live here.
– Masya Zabidi