In 2004 shortly after my daughter was born I knew instinctively that I needed to access my core creativity both for my mental health and an the inane desire to create. My outlook and connection with the earth changed with her birth. My respect of the natural world and my need to tread softly, go slow and see the beauty within nature, grew.
Over time I have dabbled in different mediums but always returned pen and ink. In 2006, I created my first mandala and I knew I had found my passion. The connection I feel to the circle has become my solace….in the beginning is the end and in the end is the beginning. My love of small details had lead me to intricate drawings taking anywhere from 100 to 300 hours to complete enabling me to slow. To no longer seek instant gratification but to see beauty in the things that take time. It has been a natural progression for me to combine both my love of the circle with my passion for nature and the need to preserve what we have.
Cathy’s work is hand drawn in archival ink mostly using .03mm Copic multiliner. The delicacy is reminiscent of an embroiderer’s needlework and in particular, lace. The complexity of design and exquisite execution are evidence of Cathy’s devotion to her work, with any one piece taking up to 250 hours. Her intricate and finely detailed works demonstrate a radial balance, drawing our gaze from the centre point. The circle, considered the perfect shape in Ancient Greek culture, has been associated with both divine and natural symmetry. It represents balance and can often symbolise harmony and unity. Cathy’s works evoke harmonious balance and the peace felt creating the works is transferred to the viewer. They invite quiet contemplation and introspection. The mandala can be found across all cultures and many religions, as Carl Jung suggested the mandala is a representation of self, and has a calm and focusing effect on the creator.
A strong Over the last 4 years Cathy has incorporated teaching into her business. With the focus on wellbeing and mental health increasing her class’s offer tools for both mindfulness and relaxation. The workshops have been developed to compliment wellbeing programs participants may already have in place. Cathy currently teaches as an incursion from years 2 – 12 both in the public and private education system. She has been invited to hold workshops at the Adelaide University, Cancer Care, Can-do, Coles and many other businesses. She currently holds monthly workshops for adults and students in her studio in Bridgewater in the Adelaide Hills.
Sabi Designs is the creation of Cathy Gray and Karen Judd. Cathy and Karen are always looking for the perfect piece of timber. Each tree is a story waiting to be told. The rings, curves, lines forever changing and leaving behind evidence of the trees connection to the earth and the life once lived. Once the timber has been salvaged the piece is then planed and sanded to remove any chainsaw marks. A smooth surface is created, the wood is then burned and the surface brushed to reveal the story. The surface is then inked and the paper or canvas is applied directly to the wood. The story is now captured forever. Long after the tree has fallen the wood continues to change. Cracks will appear, the wood will expand and shrink depending on the weather and because of this no two prints will be the same. Cathy and Karen have worked over the last 2 years sourcing paper that will truly do these prints justice and now work with handmade Japanese rice paper and stretched canvas for the larger pieces.