SLOW Journal.

Issue 11 | Wildflower

The Story of the Paper Bark - Skye Prudence.

Pages 38 - 43.

About SLOW Journal.

SLOW Journal is a bi-annual independent Australian magazine sharing stories about slow living and sustainability.

Within these pages you will find stories about ocean and wildlife conservation, ways to love more sustainably, slow travel stories, artist and photography galleries, education on holistic and alternative health modalities, a marketplace for slow fashion and eco conscious brands and so much more.

SLOW are here to inspire an antidote to a fast past industrialised world.

You can purchase a hardcopy or a pdf version of the journal from www.theslowjournal.com

EXCERPT | The Art of Mother Nature on Nature. 

"There is a deep connected understanding to Her. There is a reason why we wander Her. The feeling of air flowing into our souls, into our spirits. Igniting our skin with purity. The feeling of earth on the souls of our feet, grounding to the interconnected energy lines beneath us. The textures of Her, creating curiosity, peace, calm and strangely reminding us of something. We grow with Her, when we walk beside Her, when we respect Her. We are Her." - Skye Prudence.

Peeling the paperbark tree as a child is a fond memory for many who wander this Country. The line of paperbark trees seemingly placed, standing rugged and prickly. Giants to a small child who raises their gaze. As the layers of bark are revealed and pulled away, the thoughts flow into the mind. "I wonder if the tree is itchy? I wonder if it feels nice when the layers are peeled away?" The canopy dances at any chance to provoke thoughts of confirmation to an innocent mind.

On quiet weekends the huge wooden doors would open. Boxes filled with sparkles, sequins, glue and anything small dreams could be made of. A collection of foraged leaves, seed pods and pine cones were laid with intention on the craft table. Eyes watched closely as wise hands gently held a tiny open seed pod. Stuffed delicately with cotton wool and died ruby red with a felt tip. Clasping the tiny stem at one end, little fingers reached over and pinched the stem. Suspended in the air and inquisitively studied, a little robin red breast. The stem on the second end shortened to appear like a beak. The tail left long and the belly fluffy and bright. Simple joy was created.

Walking the dense bush with cracking eucalypts under foot. Filling as many pockets as possible with rocks, seeds and dead beetles. Grandpa was a wise bushman. Dedicated to passing on knowledge. The knowledge of the bush, conservation, silent knowing. Reading the trees where deer pass. The immature growth of unfurling fronds. The tiniest speck of colour mustn't be missed. Wildflowers brushed with finger tips and gently observed. A connected understanding of nature and knowledge.

Red sand, tiny wildflowers, crystal oceans and ocean skeletons would captivate the soul. During a moment of maturing into self and embarking on a journey of soul, earth and country. Here would be where the webs were laced. Weaving the knowledge of past, the spirit and self into a delicate artwork of discovery. Using this knowledge greatly to give to others, before the next chapter was written.

It would be years of practise, journeys, crooked paths, mountains to fall, oceans to swim, battles won and battles lost. It would be the day 25 years down the dirt road, wise hands gently offered the layers of paperbark. Not so tiny fingers anymore reached out and held the thick texture. Remembering the feeling. The dusty, chalky feeling. The knowledge exchanged silently. Coming back to the roots. This would be for later.

Sitting unnerved on a shelf, drying and flaking. Spreading debris anytime a gust of breeze passed. Slowly the layers were peeled. Ink was splashed and the feeling of earth and art connected. After years of practise, learning the layers of bark, learning the ink application and mastering the craft of simple translation of knowledge, the paperbark art series were born.

Art in it's simplest form encapsulating soul and earth.

The Art of Mother Nature on Nature.