Grief and loss present a catalyst for change

Of Loss and Finding: Chrystal Rimmer was mortified by all the plastic waste she encountered and set about trying to use it in a positive way. Picture: Supplied
Of Loss and Finding: Chrystal Rimmer was mortified by all the plastic waste she encountered and set about trying to use it in a positive way. Picture: Supplied

We all share a unique relationship with nature, but as Rockdale artist Chrystal Rimmer explains, the landscape is changing and the loss of habitat to suburban development touches everyone in profoundly different ways.

Solastalgia is described as a form of distress caused by environmental change which wreaks havoc on an individual's sense of place, identity and community in much the same way as homesickness.

An abstract concept to most, it's close to the heart of young Rimmer and forms the basis of latest artwork, Of Loss and Finding, which will be presented at Sculpture at Scenic World in the Blue Mountains from April 12 to May 12.

Having developed a deep connection with nature as a young child growing up in Merimbula, Rimmer recalls the shock of moving to the city only to discover that her love of nature wasn't universal.

''Being surrounded by suburban development made me realise that I yearned for nature - the friendly gums and chirpy cicadas,'' she says.

Creating abstract 3D forms

Creating abstract 3D forms

''But when I spoke about it, I was surprised that nature isn't what I thought it was to everyone else.''

Rimmer began exploring the concept through abstract paintings, but the loss of her father soon afterwards deeply impacted her, prompting a shift in how she expressed loss and trauma in her work.

''All I wanted to do was be in nature, but I was mortified by the abundance of plastic - it was everywhere.

"I started picking it up and cleaning it, and then I started to think about how I could use plastic in a positive way,'' she says.

Having never identified as a sculptor, Rimmer began creating abstract 3D forms from plastic with a view of seeing how it would inform her practice.

''I didn't realise it would take me to such a different place,'' she says.

Sculpture at Scenic World is one of Australia's premier outdoor sculpture exhibitions. Set in the heart of the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains, it will feature 25 thought provoking artworks.

Expect the unexpected as you meander along the 2.4km Scenic Walkway, marvelling at stunning scenery and artworks, ranging from subtle sculptures to bold installations.

  • Sculpture at Scenic World April 12 to May 12.