Amulets are one of the most ancient forms of magic, having long been used in spiritual traditions worldwide. Commonly in the form of pendants, symbols and charms, they convey power and energy to the wearer. Amulets are charged with a specific purpose, such as protection or good luck. In the making of this work I constructed floral amulets out of a range of different native and wild flowers, as a response to a period of illness.
Native plants were used in the project due to their strength, resilience, and adaptability. They thrive in the harsh and varied Australian landscape, tolerating extremes such as drought, fire and flood. They are also known to have a range of powerful medicinal properties
As part of the project I spent time researching the different ways in which plant life, flora and fauna thrive and overcome adversity. I learnt that banksias have continually been able to adapt to the presence of bushfires and although half of all plants may be killed during a fire, regeneration from seed ensures the survival of the species. Bushfire interestingly also stimulates the opening of seed bearing follicles and the germination of seed in the ground.
The body of work depicts the range of emotions that I experienced during a period of illness I suffered. Some images show the pain and isolation associated with the uncertainty of poor health. Other images reflect the acceptance of difficult circumstances. As the work progresses there is an evident transition as the images begin to show purpose, strength and hope.
This experience altered me in many ways and highlighted to me my own strength, determination and will. Health is an aspect of my life that I assumed I would always have some control over –especially at a young age. I know that this experience is not unique to me and I appreciate that overcoming adversity in health is a universal and shared challenge.
The project presented to me an opportunity to reflect on themes such as human resilience and determination, as well as survival and transformation through the most extraordinary of circumstances.