My name is Chelsea Baker -
the artist behind Hello Chelsart
I have always been drawn to nature, having collected many of the discarded organic matter from my childhood. I always felt drawn to the potential beauty of leaves, sticks and seedpods in their second stage of life.
Growing up was a great experience because I lived in many different regions of Queensland, Australia, because of my parents' work. We travelled across inland country regions of Townsville, Mungar, Maryborough, beach regions of Palm Island and Gold Coast, to what I considered a big city - Brisbane. When I eventually met my husband, we settled in regional Toowoomba in 2016 with our two children and cat, Floss.
As part of my childhood, my family would go on outings to regional galleries and nature reserves as a part of our weekend or holiday experiences. I believe that my family's cultural love of art contributed to my passion for collecting seedpods across Australia. I continue to hold an interest in the way that different Australian native environments impact the formation of seedpods. I take great pleasure in transforming each 'individual' seedpod with an original design (co-creating nature) to something that breathes new life from a discarded object lying on the forest floor.
After finishing my formal studies, a Bachelor of Multimedia (Design), a Bachelor of Environmental Design and a Master of Architecture, I wanted to use my profound understanding of design principles with nature. Through patience and reflection, I began experimenting with design through Biomimicry concepts (design inspired by nature and its form). The cross-over points meant an appreciation for micro and macro natural and built environments. After finishing in 2018, I wanted to explore painting from nature further - it just kept calling out to me!
This whole process of reflection I gained during my studies, helped during the onset of the pandemic. And so began my journey into the life of seedpods.
I hope to invoke a sense of awe for those who've never had the pleasure of putting their hands on the seedpods I paint or to give a sense of nostalgia for anyone that has played/painted with these seedpods as a child.
Ultimately, anyone of the unique seedpods that have been transformed will provide some sense of awakening about the hidden beauty that comes from unusual and forgotten places.
Searching, foraging and collecting seedpods is one of the most exciting parts of my process. I focus my energies first on finding trees in my mant forest walks to find seedpods. The trees themselves are often hidden in everyday suburbia on the nature strips of the council. However, the trees appear as everyday Australian natives that are often taken for granted because they are found everywhere. For this reason, I love it when other nature seekers comment that my seedpods are refreshingly unique. They can come from trees that they often overlook due to habitual blindness.
The seedpods I collect are naturally imperfect and vary drastically in size, colour, shape and texture. I will often find myself handling my seedpods, and sometimes, the direction of a design will almost paint itself due to the seedpods textures. I have specific patterns that pop into my mind that I need to paint and search through my seedpods to find one that connects to my thinking.
Exhibitions & Achievements
2023 The Write Gallery (The Secret Life of Seedpods) Solo Exhibition
2023 The Space Gallery Group Exhibition
2023 Fairholme Group Exhibition
2023 Toowoomba Grammar Group Exhibition
2023 Ipswich Grammar Group Exhibition
2022 Toowoomba Grammar Group Exhibition
2021 Burrow Cafe Solo Exhibition
2020 Alykat Creative Gallery Group Exhibition
2023 Canteen Australia Workshop Seedpod Workshop
2022 The Lighthouse Seedpod Workshop
4 Artworks Featured in Toowoomba Dental Clinic
8 Artworks Featured in Queensland Fertility Group Doctor's Practice
Below are the publications / websites I have had the pleasure of being featured in: