Garden design in Gerringong

I'm keen to share that I've not forgotten how to design a garden in the 4 years since I left the UK and my Garden and Landscape design practice behind. Here's a look at a recently completed design for a client in Gerringong who wanted to maximise his plot for growing food while building a haven for native planting, wildlife and a spot to enjoy and celebrate the stunning Escarpment views from his own garden grandstand. I'm looking forward to watching as the client puts the plan into action in his own time.

I love working in a very collaborate, active design consultation with my clients. I specialise in gardens that will be ecologically appropriate with planting that is not necessarily always native (unless that's the brief!) but 100% well-considered for the climate and context of the location, wildlife attracting and beautiful. If you would like some garden inspiration, planting design for an existing space, help with selecting plants from a nursery or a complete garden makeover I'd love to hear from you.

Gerringong garden layout plan

Gerringong garden layout plan

Coast Art Walk no. 8 - 18th March

North of Werri Headland in the rain

After a month or more of hot, humid weather, some real rain is welcome. I also find it's more comfortable to work on the beach on overcast days so it was wonderful to take Natalie and Karim to explore the possibilities of the rockplatform, sand and boulder field north of Werri Headland.

While I waited for them to arrive I made a tribute to the wind swirling around me from the dropped needles from the Norfolk Is pines at our meeting spot.

Then we walked up the coast track a bit and got to work. My pieces involved driftwood branches, Natalie explored the cornucopia offered up by the sea with two lovely collections that swirled around the rocks on the beach, Karim constructed a stone circle with portals. Our last collective piece was to display all the rubbish we had collected from the beach. The other pieces remained on the beach - the plastics came home with us.

My favourite comment from Natalie was that on a TV or computer screen you don't get the smells - so you will have to imagine the salt tang, the seaweed and the fresh air with a bit of rain blustering around us.

Coast Art Walk no. 7 - 11th March

Werri Beach: sand art with Anne Richmond

Today I was joined by artist Anne Richmond on Werri Beach. Reflecting forms often seen in her own paintings, Anne was drawn to some parallel lines of sand hills and shells left by the last time. Some subtle re-tracing of these shapes emphasised the repetition of pattern.

I found myself making a few attempts before finding the inspiration and concentration to stick with something for a longer period. My first piece didn't really work at all, this happens!, Next I made a "talisman" by starting with a tide-formed hillock of sand and augmenting this to display a collection of seaplastic and driftwood found on the beach.

There was quite a lot of different seaweeds on the beach today and my final piece was to make an image that recorded the colour gradients found in the seaweed. This is an exercise that I keep repeating, always with different results. Colour and form in nature is so often a starting point for me.


Coast Art Walk no. 6 - 4th March

Banksias and geometry at sunset

It's been a hot late Summer here. Mornings are hot after a hot night.... so I didn't go out today but waited till 5:30pm and took the family to Gerroa for a picnic dinner and a little session of artmaking on the beach.

After dinner, the picnic table provided the suggestion for the first piece I did - the kids were collecting the abundant Banksia seed pods and I liked the geometry of the table as a starting point.

Later down on the beach the kids drew in the sand and as the sun was about to set behind Mt Cambewarra in the distance, I saw V in the sand. A little ridge created last low tide by a folded reed stem on the sand and the water rushing past. A few more sticks and reeds were on hand to set up and other image of more V shapes pointing towards the setting sun.



Coast Art Walk no. 5 - 27th Feb

Joined today by three women; an adventure into calm, thoughtful practice.

Lyn, Therese and Gabriel joined me today and we walked through the littoral Blackbutt and Bangalay forest behind Seven Mile beach, walking and talking, looking, thinking. We eventually came out onto a deserted Seven Mile Beach with an overcast sky and sea mist making for atmospheric and more comfortable working conditions following a very hot day yesterday. After a few body and sand explorations we all settled down to individual beach combing and creation. After about half and hour, all were done. We discussed colour and texture, how nature provides a beautiful palette. Ephemeral works were left behind as we walked back to where we started the morning. Thanks for joining me today!

Coast Art Walk no. 4

Fire Passing and a sand spiral

Friday 19th Feb - a hot day, we are into the season of high humidity. I chose to work in the littoral forest behind Seven Mile Beach in the National Park. There is a track known as the sand track that runs parallel to the beach, I walked south into the bush, enjoying the shade and the sound of different birds, the waves crashing on the beach- out of sight but still present.

The passing of a fire through here years ago is still evident in the charred trunks of the endemic Blackbutts - Eucalyptus pilularis. Named for the darker sock of bark on the lower section, these are still charcoal on the fibrous outer surface. The dark black shows up the wavy fissures of the bark. I had been walking along collecting yellow leaves that caught my eye on the ground. I had quite a lot in my collecting bucket and so I stopped at an impressive giant Blackbutt and began to fit the leaves into the bark fissures. Creating in this way is always quite random, I rarely start out with an idea - it evolves as I respond to materials and aesthetic decisions that start to inform what is happening. You start to think - "am I going to place the leaves all the way around the trunk?", "how high should I go?". My own physicality usually plays a role. I work at a height that is comfortable for me. I don't stand on things, or make it too hard by working really low down. Thus the parameters become set.

Some small birds gave alarm calls for a while as I worked but eventually got used to me and they continued on their way too. The piece was done. I did wonder what the next passing mountain biker who used the sandtrack would think.

I continued further down the track than I have walked before, hoping for a side track to the beach but eventually had to just pick an open section and ended up scrambling through the thicket of Teatree on the sanddune behind the beach. Plenty of spiderwebs in there! On the wide untouched sweep of Seven Mile Beach I decided to walk a spiral. It was already too hot to do anything that would take time. My footprints remained and I walked on.

Coast Art Walk no 3

Exploring colour

Thursday 11th February.  This week involved a quick piece while my 4 year old son and his friends played at the Seven Mile Beach picnic area, as my usual Friday walk will be spent helping to set the EcoArts Australis conferenece. The kids were picking the yellow flowers from daisies growing everywhere and this set me off also collecting these vibrant bursts of colour. As I set them along a piece of bark I decided to collect and sort other leaf litter from the ground and grade it by colour. A little journey eventuated.

Coast Art Walk no 2.



Just me this week. I had already decided on Werri Beach as a location so I walked from the halfway point, observing the high tide, looking at what was washing up (seaweed mainly) and wondering what to make. As I got to the South end where the rocks shelter the end of the beach from the surf I decided to sit and wait for inspiration.

As the tide receded I watched 2 rocks become exposed on the beach. The surfers were wearing a track between them on their way to return to the surf after coming in on a wave. I wondered what would happen if I created something that wasn't an explicit boundary but slightly diverted them. I found myself collecting driftwood twigs and sorting them into sized piles. I wanted the two rocks to have some kind of dialogue so I started with the shortest twigs and created radiating circles to enclose the rocks. The outer circles nearly meet but not quite. The surfers could walk through if they wanted but they chose to stick to the edges, especially as the tide went out and more beach was revealed.

Exhibition -opened!

Thanks to all of the lovely supporters who came out last night to help launch the show. I'm afraid I didn't really get to speak to so many people. Last week I had to rush into hospital and have my appendix removed. Not the exhibition preparation I would have chosen. So I wasn't At my best last night. Huge thanks are due to my family and friends who helped get everything into place and looking amazing. 

The exhibition now continues over the weekend and next weekend, 10am to 4pm. Weekday visits by appointment, call me on 0490 373 879

From the Tidal Zone

I will be exhibiting for the first time in Australia - alongside my father Leon Sadubin, who is showing his furniture. Both of us take our inspiration from the Tidal Zone. This found, shapes observed.

From the Tidal Zone 31st October - 8th November 2015

Unit 7, 11 Bergin Street, Gerringong, NSW 2534

Open weekends 10am - 4pm and weekends by appointment.



Werri Sand Whale says Welcome!

A teacher training day at my daughter's school provided the perfect excuse for a bit of community sand sculpting. We put out the call and the day dawned sparkling and gorgeous, so off we went to our local beach.

Around 25 busy parents and kids gradually brought the shape of a humpback whale out of the sand and then we set to decorating the creature with shells and stones. An urchin shell made a perfect eye. And we all stood back and admired our work - to welcome the migrating whales to our shores.

A big thanks to all the kids and their parents who came along and got into the spirit, we made something beautiful together!

The Spark is lit

After much internal thinking and debating I'm jumping in with my idea to take on a local shop as a pop-up gallery and workshop space available to hire to interested local community artists, designers and makers.

I've built a new website and am giving my networking skills to the test. Whether or not I get enough interest to get it off the ground...we shall see. But already I have had offers of help, of cups of tea, of garden tour swapsies. So in my mind I've already achieved a broadening of my artist community. Something will come of it. Something always does.

12 Limpets

All year I have been picking up limpet shells on the beach. Each one is an original piece of art/design. Their infinite variability blows me away. 

These 6 quick watercolous are gifts for the amazing staff at my son's Pre-School. Happy Christmas ladies, and everyone! 

Out of storage, into the studio

At the end of 1994 I finished my Fine Art degree and 14 months later I was beginning what turned out to be a 17 year residency in London. I left behind a fine stack of canvas stretchers, canvas, paper and art materials. I have finally begun to transfer this bounty to my garage/studio space. While it represents a great potential of material to transmute into work it's also slightly unnerving. No pressure. Oh for another day in the week. 

Leadership for Sustainability

Last week I had an interview with the Centre for Sustainability Leadership for an intensive course that was being offered to 20 people in my regional area.  I found out yesterday that I have been selected for the course, which I am hugely pleased about. This is a great opportunity for me to network locally with some interesting and talented people, to think about how to focus in more on sustainability as a key theme of my work and last but not least, to waken my brain with a bit of intellectual rigor.

I'm really excited about where this might lead.

Infinitely variable

on a beautiful June day, winter here but not really cold, I have started some new work. Drawing with coloured pencil is not something I have done much of in recent years. It's slow but this is just what I need to build up my drawing muscles again. 

The subject are the incredibly patterned shells that I find with every walk on the beach. No two ever the same.  


Sculpture by the Sea 2014

I submitted a proposal for this years' Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. I found out today that I have not been selected. A twinge of disappointment but only 1:10 of the proposals are selected, so I'm not that put out. 

And the creative process of applying has awakened some thoughts that are now taking shape in another form. So I hope that while the Bondi event is taking place I will exhibiting elsewhere anyway.... Watch this space.