Heart, you have no house

This lonely heart poem is from American poet Theodore Roethke. I found one of his poetry collection in the streets of New York a few months ago and it has followed me all the way to Swifts Creek, in rural Victoria.

My friend Juli, who has been a fervent supporter of my art, chose as part of her pledge for my kickstarter campaign, this following quote for me to work on:

Outside the frost sparkling

Along the edge of the chair,

Close to cypress frames,

On the black wooden fences,

Along the rutted road-crown,

The dirt glittering

Brighter than fresh waves

Or moon-washed phosphorus

I thought to create a work based on this glittering, phosphorescent and sparkling poem, not very sure where to start from. So I went for an early wander along the river, before the sun reaches the top of the hill. At that time, everything is quiet as if nature waited for the light to be.

After playing with frozen reeds, watching closely the shiny rocks covered in frost and taking many pictures of unknown weeds, I finally headed to my studio to create this painting/collage.

Influenced by the Chinese calligraphers who join text to their painting, I wrote my morning thoughts:

I walked out with the sun,

before the frost disappeared.

The fog trapped in the bed of the river

escaped and staid there for a while,

not knowing where to go.

#SwiftCreeks #moon #artresidency #EastGippsland #SofieDieu

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Born in France, Sofie Dieu’s first encounter with art was through church. With a penchant for ritual and spirituality, the artist is best known for her fragile, sombre, and sometimes violent ink paintings and textile works.


Poetic and humanist, her practice draws on her journeys to China and Australia. She explores how identity and memory fluctuate according to their immediate environment. Landscapes, people, secrecy, healing, and the dichotomy between light and darkness are some of her recurring themes.


Multi-art prizes and award finalist, her work was included in the Sydney North Art Prize, Waterhouse Natural Science prize and the Contemporary Art Award amongst others. In 2016, she worked on the Camperdown Cemetery installation for Sydney Biennale. In 2017, her work will be shown during Vivid and Mental Health Month in Sydney.