Thursday, December 28, 2017

297. Addio

Continuing on with my love of using maps and found objects in my rescued assemblages, here is my final piece for this year - Addio ( farewell ) ...

I have used a discarded drawer ( found at the local recycle depot ... ) as the fame to house the story - and the theme for the story is all about my love to explore - to wander - to travel - to put on the skates, grab a map and take off to the unknown ... 

The waving open-palmed hand ( sacrificed in this case by a dumped shop mannequin ... ) is a universal symbol for saying good-bye / addio / au revoir / auf wiedersehen / aloha / vale / tangi pai / dober dan / adios - and of course " see you later " ...

... and the wheels are the most widely used method of transport for travelling - apart from our own hoofs of course ...

I love using old and not-so-old maps in my artworks ... in this case, pages from a 1960s atlas found somewhere along the way - probably at one of my weekly visits to the local Witta recycle shop ...

The two sides of the drawer are covered in a woven tapestry - using strips from maps of the USA and Russia ( Soviet ) ... and the many scrolls; large ones lining the back wall and small ones cluttering the floor of the frame, are made up from a map of Australia. 

So there you have it - Addio - my final artwork for twenty seventeen. Now the mammoth task ahead of me is to pack up my cluttered Maleny studio ( and my cluttered Maleny house ) into dozens of boxes, that in just a couple of short weeks time will be loaded into a removalist truck and transported 50 kilometres away to my new home in Nambour Heights. There, I will be starting a new and exciting adventure ... so wish me luck as you wave me good-bye ...



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

296. Shinrin Yoku - forest bathing

Shinrin-yoku is a term that means "taking in the forest atmosphere" or "forest bathing". It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. 

Researchers - primarily in Japan and South Korea - have established a robust body of scientific literature on the health benefits of spending time under the canopy of a living forest. The idea is simple: if a person simply visits a natural area and walks in a relaxed way, there are calming, rejuvenating and restorative benefits to be achieved.

So feeling a little anxious and out of sorts last week – and on the advice of my physiotherapist - I decided to put the idea to the test and headed to my nearest eucalyptus forest for a long wander by the water courses and amongst the towering trees.


We have always known the benefits of walking and breathing the fresh forest air. But in the past several decades there have been many scientific studies that are demonstrating the mechanisms behind the healing effects of simply being in wild and natural areas. For example, many trees give off organic compounds that support our “NK” (natural killer) cells that are part of our immune system's way of fighting many human conditions.

The scientifically-proven benefits of Shinrin-yoku include:

·       Boosted immune system functioning, with an increase in the count of the body's Natural Killer (NK) cells.
·       Reduced blood pressure
·       Reduced stress
·       Improved mood
·       Increased ability to focus on every-day issues
·       Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
·       Increased energy level
·       Improved sleep

Just as impressive are the results that we are experiencing as we make this part of our regular practice:

·                     Deeper and clearer intuition
·                     Increased flow of energy
·                     Increased capacity to communicate with the land and its species
·                     Increased flow of eros/life force
·                     Deepening of friendships ( if you walk with a friend … )
·                     Overall increase in sense of happiness

Another benefit of this therapy is that our eyes and senses are opened to the beautiful art of nature …



Shinrin Yoku Forest Therapy is all about leisurely walks on gentle paths under the forest canopy to help us open our senses, hone our intuition, and experience the forest as we never have before.

So when the pressure of living starts weighing heavy, grab a water bottle, slip on a sturdy pair of walking shoes, leave the phone at home and seek out your local forest path …

Breath + Relax + Wander + Touch + Listen and Heal

It works for me …