The prints, paintings and sculptures of GW Bot engage with the environment in a topographic and metaphysical sense, and are often interpreted as an allegory for a person’s passage through life. Typically, Bot’s work features strong silhouettes, a natural colour palette, course visual texture and complex rhythmic patterns and glyphs. Through her unique visual language of glyphs, GW Bot maps the landscape, not literally but intuitively, with her markings always born from personal experience. This extensive repertoire of glyph motifs features across all mediums of her work. In a most basic observation, they are evocative of branches and twigs, and have also been likened to the moth tracks on scribbly gums. Yet her glyphs operate via the links of allusion and association to form abstract landscapes, or more elusively, a map of almost cosmological markings, mapping out the progression of time, seasons or natural events. Printmaking is Bot’s primary medium, and her use of the linocut allows for flexibility of line and intricate repetition of pattern. GW Bot draws her exhibiting name from a French document citing the earliest written reference to a wombat or ‘le grand Wam Bot’. Her decision to adopt this reference to the wombat as her namesake stems from her appreciation of Aborginal totemic belief, where each member of a clan inherits a totemic relationship with a particular plant or animal of the region. In all variations of her work, GW Bot marries a mastery of technique with unlimited creativity and intuitive sensitivity.
GW Bot studied art in London, Paris and Australia, graduating from the Australian National University in 1982. She has been a full-time artist since 1985 and has held a plethora of solo exhibitions in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles and Manila. Her work is represented in over one hundred public collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, Albertina (Vienna), British Museum (London), Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Bibliotheque Nationale (Paris) and Fogg Museum of Fine Arts (Harvard University, USA), as well as numerous Australian regional galleries, corporate collections and domestic and international tertiary, college and academy art collections.