Camie Lyons spoke with Australian Galleries on her residency at Umbi Gumbi 2020 and 2021.
“I could return to this magic place forever. It is just past Bermagui on the South Coast – a nature reserve and unique landscape that has attracted a long lineage of artists from all disciplines.
The little bush studio is perfect. I also worked outside, weather permitting, gathering materials to rub into surfaces and sticks to coax into form, wandering, listening to the bush and sea, chasing my own thoughts and imaginings.Camie Lyons Bark Drawings & Birdsong Drawings mixed media on industrial paper
It is such a gift, residency time, to be removed from your everyday and told to use this time and space as you please – to soak it up, to taste and feel, to let that perfume your creativity. Time becomes elastic with no other obligations, my day dictated by bursts of making, reading, periods of contemplation and observation. The best surprises come from experimenting – throwing stuff about, getting obsessed over some small thing and following that to its conclusion, or wandering onto an entirely new path of endless possibilities. All these things happened for me at Umbi Gumbi.This fever of making has led the way into a new body of work for my next show with Australian Galleries, now rescheduled for March 2022. Kissed by the bush and sea, this body of work is a love affair with the Australian Landscape.
Here are a few images from my time at Umbi Gumbi, I have 100’s! Scratchy birdsong and bark drawings, open branch forms and many strange and loose charcoals. Blues and sun bleached whites appearing on the bronzes, pops of colour punctuating wall works and the songs of bark scratching hanging in space.
I just threw myself in, as always enjoying the physical practice of making and was exhausted at the end of each day to dream about limitless making, to rise and begin the cycle again. What a gift! Thank you Umbi Gumbi, Thank you!”