Tracey Deep

Sculpting with Nature

We are drawn to the beautiful wall sculptures created by Tracey Deep, for their integrity and unique organic forms. They add layers of texture, sculptural form and subtle tones, creating shadows and a play of light – gracefully bringing walls to life. Her artworks have an inherent Australian aesthetic and spirit as they are woven from materials collected and gathered locally. What initially drew you to work with flowers and nature? My love for being creative, working with my hands, a way of expressing my desire to be creative and a love for nature. I was drawn in by the amazing textures, shapes, patterns & tones the natural world had to offer. It gave me the perfect palette to create and inspired my floral sculpture works and eventually my sculpture works. What path has your career taken since then?. My career has transformed from floral art to sculpture works. I still create special event works using nature to inspire. I also have regular exhibitions for my sculpture works which are made from organic and industrial material. Also found objects which are transformed into something totally new. A form of sustainable sculpture & installation works. Where do you draw your inspiration from? Nature is the core of my inspiration. Working with amazing Australian bush flora, its luscious textures, sculptural shapes and diverse tones continue to inspire new works. Walking in nature and exploring gardens, bushland, coastlines & forests, feed & nourish my inspiration. Do you see your floral art and your floral sculptures as two different skills? My floral art is mainly working with fresh living organic materials, focusing on patterns, shapes & textures. My sculpture works are made using found objects, organic materials and also some man-made materials. Here I also focus on shapes, textures and patterns but mainly working with materials that have longevity. So there is a common thread with both the floral & sculpture works, the floral is more ephemeral & the sculpture is permanent, everlasting works of art. How important is the sourcing of elements that you use to create your works? The material I source is just as important as what I create with the material. I get inspired by the material itself as a starting point and this then feeds the ideas and inspires the creation of the piece. What process do you go through when creating a floral sculpture? My sculpture works evolve from sourcing a material that talks to me, it usually has a history, a story from a previous life or something organic that has a unique texture, pattern or shape. This then slowly evolves and transforms into a hand woven art piece or is cut up and reshaped and then transformed into a new form. It’s all about the material, this inspires the process of the piece & its creation. The ideas of my works sometimes happen very quickly and other times the material is put aside until the inspiration comes. What is the most challenging material that you have worked with? The most challenging material is always the spiky, thorny material that seems to bite back if I’m not focused and taking time and care with the piece. These pieces cannot be rushed. Examples would be barbed wire & thorn branches from an ancient citrus trees. If you work with the material and not against it, it tends to surprisingly work in your advantage most of the time. Photography: Courtesy of Tracey Deep by Nicholas Watt and by Jenni Hare and Melanie Kightley