Banksia Hunting – South West WA

As Banksias become a major feature in my painting, I realised a trip to South Western WA would be required. Of 122 species of Banksias and Dyandras, WA has all but 14. I looked at airfares to Perth a lot, but never went through with a purchase. Having never been to WA before, I had mythologised the landscape and the flora in my mind and getting the plane didn’t quite seem to cut it in my imagination. There was also the expense of accommodation to consider and the challenge of making artwork on the road.

In the end a 1996 Diesel VW tranporter was the answer, and with my trusty little terrier companion I set off into the outback. There was fear. There was caution being thrown to wind. There were a few hiccups at the start, but all up, the road journey to WA was as fabulous as I thought it would be. I loved the changing climate from the East coast the West. I loved driving via Wilcania and Broken Hill in NSW in spring through incredible light rain with wildflowers lining the sides of the highway. I loved getting in the ‘zone’ driving on the Nullabor, after a few hours of driving where it became quite mediative and dreamy. I loved the openness and the expanse. I loved the strong orange red soil colour contrasted with the green grey tones of saltbush. I loved the eucalypts of the Great Western Woodland, after passing the WA border. And I loved that thrill of each movement forward being into a relative unknown, travelling relatively slowly to a places I had never been before.

The Van and the Dog.

The road trip

Some amazing Banksias from Kings Park, Perth

And from the South West.