Life On The Job


Indigenous Famous or Historic People

Arts & Crafts Professional: Floral Sculptor - Tracey Deep (1967 - )

Tracey Deep portrait

Tracey Deep is an Installation artist using organic and industrial recycled materials and creating living sculptures with indigenous flora. Tracey Deep is a creative adventurer and a biology enthusiast. From the ‘far north’ to the ‘deep south’ our plant sculptor has accumulated her own cabinet of curious natural specimens.

Tracey was born in 1967 in Sydney.

 

The following information was taken from The Design Files 5 August 2016


"Tracey Deep has a deep connection with nature. Growing up, Tracey was always fascinated with the natural world, she’d collect pebbles on walks, red gum chips from the school playground, and fallen Autumn leaves. She’d present her findings in a very curated manner and call it her ‘collection’. What she didn’t know at the time, was that these early fascinations were the early carvings of her future career.

Upon leaving school, Tracey trained as a florist, and learned the ropes under the tutelage of well known florists Susan Avery and Alison Coates. During this period, Tracey was able to investigate Australian native flora in all of its uninhibited glory. She started to use the sticks, leaves, branches and anything else she could get her hands on to create three-dimensional art works with a uniquely Australian sensibility.

Eventually, Tracey went on to work for herself as a florist, while continuing her floral sculpture projects. Her sculptures began to grow and grow, and soon she found herself undertaking large scale installations. These days, Tracey takes on private sculptural commissions alongside her floristry practice. Her creative drives comes from her endless fascination with the Australian native landscape, a passion that still brings Tracey much joy and wonderment.

Tracey working
Tracey working in studio
(Source: Good Day Girl)



Tell us a little about your background – what did you study and what path led you to what you are doing today?

Art was always my first love. It was always my favourite subject at school, and I started collecting art books from a very young age. Also at this age, I started to collect pieces of nature that drew my attention, such as textured leaves and rocks featuring patterns and shapes. I created my own little private collections of little things I had found, and I think this was the starting point for everything that eventually followed.

Following school, I started working in flower shops. I first worked for the talented Susan Avery, where I had the opportunity to explore flowers of a wide variety, and to study nature’s wonderment up close. I then worked for the very talented Alison Coates, where I started to think more about textures in nature, and was able to take my floral practice a step further.

I eventually went out on my own, and it was here that I began to combine everything about nature I loved, in particular our rare and stunning Australian bush flora, pods and textures. I started creating floral sculptures firstly for myself, but then for a wide-ranging audience. The next natural extension for me was creating larger scale sculpture and installation art, with an emphasis on shapes, patterns and textures all inspired by mother nature and her surrounds.

How would you describe your work?

I am deeply inspired by nature. My work is playful, sculptural and whimsical with an emphasis on patterns, shapes and textures. Shadow also plays an important role in the spirit of my works.

Can you give us a little insight into your creative process?

It all starts from sourcing the right materials, which then inspires the creation of the piece, which in turn comes to life through installation. Repetition of material creates patterns that seem to give off a sense of energy and vibration, almost like a living organism from the natural world. Then shadows appear, which becomes a sketch of the work, the spirit etched onto walls or ceilings, leaving its mark.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

It’s usually an early start at the flower markets, where you can find me sourcing unusual materials for an event installation or filling flower orders for the day. It’s then usually a mix of site meetings, installing a commissioned work, or preparing works for an upcoming exhibition. It’s always important for me to combine both commercial work with my own private projects.

Most days I also try and fit in a walk in the park, as this is my moment of total relaxation.

Tracey in her studio
Tracey in her studio in Redfern, Sydney
(Source: Lorrie Graham)


What have been one or two favourite recent projects or commissions?

I recently worked with inspiring interior architect George Livissianis on the Dolphin Hotel. I created some installation pieces for the interiors and lighting.

I also worked with incredible stylist and guru Megan Morton on a Christmas in July event at the Wolgan Valley Resort. Here I created floating installations inspired by the Australian bush. One of my oldest and earliest commissions was at the same resort, so it was lovely to be able to revisit this work and pair it with something new."


Examples of Tracey's Work

Work one 
(Source: Lorrie Graham)
Work 
(Source: Timeout)
Floral Arrangement
(Source: Rhonda Pryor) 
Work 
(Source: Soul Safari)

Links

Art Gallery NSW

Art Gallery NSW
Gardening Australia

Gardening Australia
EST

EST
Garden Clinic

Garden Clinic
 
Homes to Love

Homes to Love
The Planthunter May 27 2015

Planthunter
 

YouTube: art.afterhours - Floral sculptor Tracey Deep on Monet as inspiration
https://youtu.be/nzw2HRPqvoM

 

Materials sourced from
Thursd.

The Design Files 5 August 2016
Invaluable

Resources
UAP Studio

Activities

Made in likeness: an installation

PrimaryPrimary MiddleMiddle  High SchoolSecondary

CriticalAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical and creative thinking
Personal and social capability
Australian Curriculum General Capability: Personal and social capability

LiteracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Literacy

IndigenousAustralian Curriculum Cross Curriculum Priorities: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures 

1. You are going to create a "masterpiece" in the likeness of Tracey Deep.

As an individual, take a walk in a park or your back garden, and pick up any natural materials.

You might have to buy twine or use bobby pins to hold your installation together.

2. Take photos as you put your installation together.

3. Once you have finished your masterpiece,

  • create a video using music to show off the process and the final product.

  • Create a poem about your installation

 

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