Busy Spring


This is a solar plate etching (a variable edition of 10) featuring Australian gravel ants collecting quartz for their nest surface.


Busy Spring (2023)

A few years ago, a guide on an Aboriginal cultural tour explained that our local woodland ants prepare for summer by placing quartz gravel on the surface of their underground nests. This helps to reflect heat away from the ground, keeping the nest underneath cool. When the weather is due to get colder, the ants remove the light coloured quartz again so the nest better absorbs the sun’s warmth. The colour of the nest therefore changes with the seasons.

This print is inspired by the clever ants (typically gravel ants, or Iridomyrmex purpureus) and by our Indigenous peoples’ keen observations of the natural world. Thank you to the Wildbark cultural team for sharing your knowledge.

This hand printed solar plate etching is a variable edition of only 10 prints. The edition is variable in that the background colouring (particularly the treeline and foreground shadow) differs between prints. The colours are added using the viscosity inking technique, meaning that all the colours are part of a single etched plate.

The edition is printed on thick 300 gsm Hahnemühle paper, 18 x 19 cm, unframed. The images shown here are some of the available prints. If you have a preference for a particular edition number, please make your preference known in the checkout comments section.

Additional information

Weight 0.1 kg
Dimensions 27 × 19.5 × 0.1 cm


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