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Your connection to nature, through art

Will Sacre
Published 28 Feb 2022 
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Cassie Byrnes Art Studio<br/> Cassie Byrnes Art Studio
Emma Hollingsworth, Kuku Ya'u, Girramay artist<br/> Emma Hollingsworth, Kuku Ya'u, Girramay artist
Design by Artist, Dave Homer<br/>Creative duo Josh & Matt Design by Artist, Dave Homer
Creative duo Josh & Matt
Creative duo, Matt & Josh<br/> Creative duo, Matt & Josh

Sometimes when you're sitting in the bush, it feels like you're looking at a work of art. Artists throughout history have sought to replicate this by mimicking nature and bringing it to life with creative flair. Four artists have done just this in a new collaboration between Bush Heritage and Kiehl’s Australia.

The results are an eclectic range of powerful works, all with the bush at their core. Printed on Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, the theme for the collaboration is ‘Your Connection to Nature’. Some of Australia’s most exciting up and coming artists are involved, including Emma Hollingsworth, Dave Homer, Cassie Byrnes and creative duo Josh and Matt.

Some of them shared what the project means to them in a recent Q&A:

Emma Hollingsworth

What inspires your creative process?

Nature, colour and my own story. When I go out in nature I instantly feel at peace, like I am at one with who I am. This then gets me in a headspace where I feel calm and creative and I can get stuck into a creative piece. Colour inspires me as well. When I’m out and about or I’m watching a video online it’s like my mind has a radar for interesting and colourful things, it’s almost a bit of a lightbulb moment, and it instantly inspires me to create. I also like to paint about my own life and how everything has led to me being who I am today.

This initiative is part of Kiehl’s global ‘Future Made Better’ program – what do you think will make a better future?

I think if people were kinder to one another and the planet that would be a good start. Making small changes like buying products that are recyclable or that have minimal waste is good. Buying less things – ask yourself if you really need it before you buy it. 

Also bringing on First Nations people to your project, getting their opinions, and valuing their knowledge like Bush Heritage is doing is a good start. Our opinions matter and our voices need to be heard. We hold so much knowledge of this country and we’ve been here for a very long time. We need to be put in positions where we can lead, teach, and guide others, and then we can start to make the world better for future generations.

Our opinions matter and our voices need to be heard. We hold so much knowledge of this country and we’ve been here for a very long time.

Cassie Byrnes

Is nature a source of inspiration to you and why?

The genesis of my work began during a visit to the Melbourne Museum in 2014. I was looking for inspiration and stumbled upon the supercontinent of Gondwana that broke up about 180 million years ago during the Jurassic period. To understand more about the land we live on, that has been in the making for hundreds of millions of years makes you really be in awe of the unique landscape and flora we have here. Some of our wildflowers can be traced back to prehistoric plants around this time. Like the Grevillea and Banksia flowers family, which has origins dating back to 80 million years ago.

I take inspiration from natural lines and formations of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, the sub- tropical flora of Gondwana, megafauna, old geological land diagrams mixed with the mid-century art movement Abstract Expressionism. 

Why is supporting Bush Heritage important to you?

We have been blessed with the most rugged landscape and unique animal life of any country on earth. The work Bush Heritage does is critical to preserving and protecting the bush. I value their work with Traditional Owners and respecting their long-standing connection to country, by working together and bringing a more holistic approach to conservation. 

Josh & Matt

What drew you to this collaboration between Kiehl’s and Bush Heritage?

We believe it’s important that we also use our art to communicate the values we hold close and protecting and nurturing the land we live on is very important to us. So when we had the opportunity to work with Kiehl’s and Bush heritage on this collection we were very passionate about getting this message across. 

Where in nature do you go to unwind?

One of our favourite ways to unwind is going on a walk, and one of our favourite walks is through the botanic gardens! We get so invested in admiring all the different plant species it never gets boring!


Kiehl’s Australia has pledged to donate $20,000 to raise awareness for Bush Heritage and support the protection, restoration and regeneration of 30 million hectares of land.

Cassie Byrnes Art Studio<br/> Cassie Byrnes Art Studio
Emma Hollingsworth, Kuku Ya'u, Girramay artist<br/> Emma Hollingsworth, Kuku Ya'u, Girramay artist
Design by Artist, Dave Homer<br/>Creative duo Josh & Matt Design by Artist, Dave Homer
Creative duo Josh & Matt
Creative duo, Matt & Josh<br/> Creative duo, Matt & Josh