lorraine biggs

Lorraine Biggs was born in Perth Western Australia where she completed a Diploma of Fine Arts. She moved to Hobart in 1992 where she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with Honours. Lorraine now lives and works on the East Coast of Tasmania near the Blue Tier Forest but still spends some time in WA working on art projects or to exhibit her work. Her work is represented in a number of public collections including the Art Gallery of WA, Artbank, University of Tasmania, Devonport Regional Gallery, Burnie Regional Art Gallery, Grafton Regional Gallery NSW, Curtin University, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Murdoch University and the University of WA.

Lorraine has most recently produced paintings with oil paint and oil pastel on canvas as well as some works on paper using charcoal. Her current series explores the rainforest ecosystems investigating her feelings towards the Tasmanian landscape. Her most recent work is inspired by the old growth Blue Tier Forest Reserve. Lorraine works with oils and charcoal to explore the sensuous nature of the forest. She focuses on the details of natural surfaces such as the hairlike structures that form protective layers over trees, ferns and ground. In these works, the artist has concentrated on sections of trees and other vegetation, revealing her connectedness to the subject matter.

Her work often revolves around issues associated with the environment or social issues through the depiction of landscape, seascape or sky. Previously she has spent two or three years at a time focusing in depth on other natural phenomenon such as the clouds as seen in her last solo exhibition with us Clouds 42° South.

“I work predominately as a visual artist. Generally I focus on the natural environment in some way and over the last 19 years have explored the sky, sea and landscape in my practice. The last few years my main area of interest has been the forest environment of Tasmania. I have lived in Tasmania for 13 years now having moved here from Western Australia. I have been astounded by the beauty of the ecosystem and saddened to see its rapid destruction. My main method of work is through drawing and painting but I like to experiment with other media and push the boundaries through collaborative projects with others. Most recently I have worked with a local musician/composer on forest projects in the North East of Tasmania but have also worked with others including sculptors, local company IHOS Opera, environment groups, schools and other environmental artists.”

“This body of works further explores my interest in the diverse ecosystem of the Blue Tier Forest in North East Tasmania. I have been drawn to the odd furry, hairy, sticky plants in the darker sections of rainforest. I find great pleasure in discovering new forms of interest every time I walk into this area. I feel there is a lifetimes intrigue for me to work with from this one forest alone. The new fronds that unfurl from the tree ferns (dicksonia antartica) each Spring amaze me and their new soft luminous green forms then make me consider how many seasons these plants been growing. Some of the Tree ferns in the Blue Tier area are 9 metres high and form a high canopy. These plants must truly be ancient.

The rich diversity of this old forest provides moisture and food for all forms of mosses, lichens and fungi along all the surfaces of living trees, rotting limbs and on the forest floor like a rich tapestry. For this small body of work I have focused mostly on the ferns, sundews, on a few favourite trees and the moss balls (leptostomum inclines) which I only came across recently. Many more strange but beautiful plants make up this ecosystem that I look forward to spending time with in the future.”

Lorraine Biggs 2006