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Meet The Maker Monday | Heather Brown

What is it that you do artistically? I capture moments in Nature, either with photography drawing, painting sewing and other ways to portray what I see. I capture the beauty of Western Australia's Wildflowers with natural, unedited photographs. I also incorporate some of these images into useful items and mementos for people to utilise. Also transform the way we view the landscapes we live in by presenting another viewpoint through my eyes. Why do you do what you do? I am blessed with seeing flowers others may not. I wish to share the beauty of WA Wildflowers with as many people as possible. Capturing many facets of what are distinctive flora, often never to be seen outside WA for posterity. If I trigger just one persons interest in our ecosystem and its glorious contents each month, then I am happy.

When did you start in your industry? Photography- 1970. After leaving the stroke unit at Royal Perth Hospital, I went North to learn how to speak and read properly. Finding flowers of many kinds in the different countryside piqued my interest and got me searching for the unseen when I returned home to Albany. For several years I was a licenced Seedsman, able to find and collect seeds of Native plants, this heightened my appreciation of our landscapes.

How would you describe your style? Hard to describe my style, freestyle imaginative reality. "you have a totally different way of looking at specimens Heather". I humanise the plants and flowers, their positions, the tilt of a flower, leaf, nut, I give them personalities with a brief glance. Quirky should be added to My Style, I definitely have a uniquely 'Me' way of seeing things, preferably with a dash of humour.

Has your style changed over time? Very much so Focus and appreciation of fine detail has emerged. Learning what has the gotcha factor, sometimes I get it, others I don't until I take another look, sometimes days later and think, wow look at this beautiful flower/plant, got to share it and then the magic happens, sometimes with only one or two photos. Some of the "not quite there pictures" I plan to use for new artworks using fabric, fibres & paint.

What does inspiration mean to you and who inspires you? Inspiration to me is a gift that is welcomed when your heart, mind and eyes are open to it. Inspiration to me is that warm feeling, a flash of Oh - and there it is. Inspiration comes in many forms different for all. For me it is a realisation, something my mind sees, a flash can become more than just a small spark, it can become a bright meteor and touch others with its brilliance.

Who Inspires me? My friend and former High School Art Teacher, Lesley Barnes, who encouraged us all to allow our imaginations to open our eyes and our minds. Lesley is still painting in her 90's, despite a stroke limiting her movements, she can still see beauty, capture it in her art and share it with the world.

What memorable responses have you had to your work? "When I first saw this picture, it resonated with my soul and I had to come back and buy it". Client ringing me with tears of joy, her commissioned pieces, so much more detail than expected. You really do show what the bush can hide, after seeing your cards, we again went looking in the bush and found the flowers- we knew what we were looking for thanks to your pictures. I am absolutely blown away with how you find and show the bush gems, if this is just a fraction, I want to see more! This person bought many items of WA Wildflowers selection a returning visitor to Albany.

What have you been working on recently? Encouraging others to follow their inspiration into the Arts, whichever format it takes. A canvas trio designed to be on display in a prominent position, hopefully to generate conversation and interest around the subjects, with the added bonus of the subjects being from the Albany district.

What is your dream project? A large exhibition incorporating my prints along with multiple artists work of the same subjects eg; Albany Banksia, Pincushion Hakea etc ..Take the audience from reality and beyond into the realms of imagination and fantasy, with the assurance that they and others will be able to see the reality in the future due to the forward thinking and protection of our wonderland here in the Albany area and beyond. Showing in Albany first, then elsewhere. Maybe even featuring some of my better pictures on the Yagan Square screen.

How would you describe the Arts & Culture scene in Albany?

It appears to be growing more accepting and expanding the concept of Art and Culture. Which to me indicates imagination being released from confines determined long ago. Encouraging belief in the talents of artists is a huge step forward, encouraging others to seek to express their arts in a suitable area of non judgment, constructive wisdom, sharing the joy of expression.

Catch more of Heather at: west seeds.wa


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