4721 Delta mound (2019)
29" x 22"
Lotus Ink on Watercolor Paper
International Artist Award
Morrison Polkinghorne is an Australian artist based in Battambang, Cambodia. His grey and black toned paintings are made with lotus stems and artisanal ink, which he distills from its petals. A tassel maker and weaver by trade, Morrison also designs and recreates intricate 18th and 19th century reproduction decorative arts. Since his move to Southeast Asia nearly a decade ago, he branched into his unique concept of Pointillism, using lotus as both theme and application. It is the perfect imagery for a Buddhist region as this flower symbolizes the Lord Buddha's spiritual awakening, emerging from the muddy dark depths into light and becoming a flash of beauty. "I envision my pieces ecologically, holistically and spiritually, with Asian nature and culture as the inspiration," explains Morrison. "Lotus stems are my paintbrush, while its flowers create my tones." Since the commencement of this artwork, Morrison has counted a total accumulation of 509,111 lotus impressions to create his paintings. During the early 2020 lockdown, it was often difficult to collect lotus flowers, so Morrison branched out to create a new series of art using his handmade inks, crayons and pigments, which he paints with brushes that he hand-makes from bird feathers that he collected collected amongst the kingdom's ancient Khmer ruins, such as Angkor Wat. "My work is holistic and environmental: I distill black lotus ink from lotus flowers that were donations to the temples. The brown washes I create derive from dried lotus pods. My crayon skies are created from natural beeswax formed with lotus petal ash. A hint of orange within the sunrise comes from shattered colonial roof tiles I collected after a severe storm in Battambang. The 24 karat gold I purchased from the artisan gold leaf makers in Mandalay, Myanmar. The glimmer of pure gold leaf I apply to these works reaches through us to show us reflect a new road during these troubled pandemic times."
Donated By Morrison Polkinghorne