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Artist in residence - Judith Nangala Crispin


  • Cooroora Institute 780 Cooroy Belli Creek Rd (map)

Poet and visual artist Judith Nangala Crispin creates unique lumen prints from roadkill animals and birds and layered natural objects such as seeds and sticks.

 Photograph by Jason Blake

Photograph by Jason Blake

The birds and animals are placed on light-sensitive paper and left to expose in natural sunlight, and moonlight, for between 24 and 36 hours. Layers of Silver Iodine in the paper crystallise in sunlight producing unexpected colours. This approach to lumen printing is totally unique. Judith has designed and built a series of interlocking perspex boxes in different heights to allow layers of seeds, sticks, dirt, mud, wax, resin, leaves and other elements to be suspended over an object. These works are always evolving and changing. They are influenced by the seasons and weather, the flora and fauna of the regions where prints are made. Working in this way has given Judith a new understanding of Country, and its significance for those who care for it.

The way light wraps the bodies of these deceased birds and animals helps clarify something of the nature of death. It is only light that is manifesting these colours and shapes – not paint or anything that can be completely controlled. It feels like a genuine collaboration with nature, the sentient landscape that we call Country.

The residency will host a new project to further develop and expand lumen printing techniques in the field. Located at Black Mountain, Coorooa Institute is surrounded by extraordinary plants and animals, different kinds of clay, stones, sticks and seeds. The light is quite different to that found in the desert or southern alps where Judith normally works. Using Cooroora Institute’s facilities Judith hopes to create a new body of work and, at the same time, refine her artistic practice. These techniques can then be passed on to other artists in workshops. During the residency Judith will also write poetry on the correlation of body and place. These images and poems will form part of her coming verse novel “The Dingo’s Noctuary”.

The residency period will conclude with artist talks on location. Works created at Cooroora will be exhibited in Sydney’s Maunsell Wickes Gallery in a show on the subject of birds in September 2019. Poetry and images from this residency will be published as part of an illustrated verse novel in 2020.

Whilst not running a workshop at the Cooroora Institute, Judith will be presenting aspects of her work on two Sunday afternoons. Sunday 2nd December at 3pm as an overview of her ongoing art and writing practice; and Sunday 9th December at 3pm for a presentation on the lumen print process currently under experimentation. Each afternoon will be around an hour followed by drinks available for purchase. Entry is free and all are welcome.