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JONATHON WESTACOTT

My work is an exploration of detail. Visually I’m concerned with form and colour but also a curiosity to understand what is not obvious in a place. Diminishing wilderness is a worrying fact and sharing a love and awe of the natural world is my way of highlighting our natural heritage.

I grew up in a beautiful area of North Eastern Victoria, my parents would say I was never at home, always out exploring the surrounding mountains, rivers and creeks. I developed a respect of wild places and have come to learn the importance of intact ecosystems. These places are the building blocks for life on the earth. They sustain and support us.

My focus on wilderness is a way of preserving or remembering places, the perfect way for me to achieve this is through the resilient material of glass. This medium can capture memory, experience and emotion for thousands of years. It is also a tough master with intricate and elusive properties.

Jonathon Westacott glassblowing
The Horn, Mount Buffalo Victoria

My adult years encompassed the coastal heathlands, sclerophyll forest and big river environs of north eastern NSW, until ultimately settling in the subtropical rainforest of the hinterlands of the Sunshine Coast. Here the beautiful volcanic soils and high annual rainfall enabled my family and I to transform a bare pastoral valley into the makings of a rainforest within a decade; planting well over a thousand native trees including many rare palms and cycads. Our goal has been to create an environment, which will inspire and nurture our creativity, as well as recapture elements of what was once there.

Jonathon Westacott working in Westacott Studio

After completing my arts degree in Wagga Wagga, I trained and worked at the glass studio in the Jam Factory, Adelaide. South Australia gave me the opportunity to rock climb, camp and hike the formidable and ancient terrains of the Flinders and Gammon Ranges. These picturesque landscapes with their variety of dramatic and romantic views had a huge impact on me.  

Jonathon Westacott sketch

Bushwalking into remote and wild places is the key to my research. While on these trips, I sketch and photograph plants and birds in the landscape, bringing this back to the studio as a theme for each new piece. I then draw these ideas in ink, often placing together many different aspects of an environment into one drawing. The landscape work is a condensed impression of a place, often surreal and impossible, but also unmistakeable in its representation.

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