Lenni Semmelink, won Biosphere art mentorship prize.
Lenni Semmelink, won Biosphere art mentorship prize.

Exploring language of trees in art

LENNI Semmelink is local, focused and energetic, and her talented artwork is expressing all of those qualities.

Last Sunday, the 31-year-old's art proposal Earthsong was recognised when she was awarded the Inaugural Noosa Biosphere Art Prize 2012 Mentoring Scholarship at the annual Noosa Biosphere Day.

The prize, a mentorship along with $750 will assist her art project proposal for a living Soundscape created for next year's Floating Land Festival.

Lenni's work has taken shape after completing a diploma of visual arts at Tewantin TAFE, majoring in painting and drawing and extending her work through local workshops. Yet above all, her work is informed by a life philosophy of caring for the earth, working hard at what you love and exploring new territories of the mind and cyber world.

Originally from Brisbane, Lenni spent three years driving around Australia on a working holiday.

"Much of it I did solo," Lenni's said.

"So I learned at lot from the experience."

Bursting with wanderlust she went on to explore South East Asia and then to work on super yachts in the Mediterranean.

"It was there I decided to find out what I really wanted to do," she said.

She said she had often thought of art as a career but had been warned off because of the inherent difficulty in making a living in this field.

Ultimately she chose to put aside other's opinions, came back to the coast and commenced the arts course.

With that done, she went onto establish a business that she felt good about - healthy living.

"Two and half years ago I set up The Happy Sprout with a friend," Lenni said.

Lenni is now the sole owner of the thriving stall selling sprouts and other raw food products at Noosa Farmers Market.

Essentially, her focus on understanding and using nature's food is extending into her art project proposal which she developed after attending a workshop with award winning composer and sound artist, Leah Barclay.

"I went into the Noosa National Park with Leah and we buried hydrophones (underground microphones) near the trees,"

"We could hear everything from the tree - water flowing through the capillaries, cells dying..."

"Then Leah said to me - 'why don't you tap' the tree.

When Lenni heard the tap resonate, she realised the extent of the tree's awareness and how every action caused a flow-on effect.

With Earthsong, Lenni proposes to take people into an area of trees where hydrophones will be buried and they have the opportunity to hear and interact with tree sounds.

Check out more at lenni.com.au

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