At the end of October 2019, my long-cherished dream came true, a trip to the land of eucalyptus, Australia. The most important thing in the luggage: a big pot and tons of white fabric. There were only 3 pre-planned fixed points, the workshop with Irit Dulman right at the beginning, my desire to spend a few days at Beautiful Silks, a fabric store with studio near Great Ocean Road, and to be at Melbourne airport on December 18 to travel on to Tasmania. I wanted to let everything else come to me.


During the first walk through the streets of Sydney, I was overwhelmed by the scent of the blooming jasmine, the chirping of birds unknown to me and eucalyptus trees everywhere - energy and zest for action flooded me, the jet lag was forgotten. My next stop was Canberra, right in the evening after the visit to the Botanical Gardens, I rolled the first eucalyptus leaves into a bundle with my scarf in the hotel. The tree whose seed stalks give two-colored prints on wool grows at the bus stop to the Botanical Gardens.


From Canberra, the King Highway crosses the Southern Tablelands, grasslands and open eucalypt forests. Towards the coast, the vegetation changes, becoming denser, impenetrable with various ferns, banksias, acacias and eucalyptus as far as the eye can see, before the road winds down on the steep and winding section at Clyde Mountain. I was completely overwhelmed and full of joy to be here.


Wendy Hartman, the course organizer, picked me up in Batemans Bay with her car full of leaves and twigs. With my son's words in my ear I got in the car " always look very carefully when you touch any plant, beware of the spiders!!!!". We took our way to Kiola on the Prinzes Highway to the ANU Coastal Campus.


The Ecoprint workshop with Irit Dulman from Israel was an unforgettable experience. For 7 days I explored the wonderful world of leaves, plants and flowers. We printed the nature of Australia on our fabrics, went out together to collect new plants, always looking for those that give especially good prints, like "Stinky Roger", an inconspicuous weed by the wayside. Helped each other to roll the bundles, impatiently awaited the call of the keeper of the giant pot Ludmila Maddalena "bundles out", to unwind the fabrics again and again with amazement and enthusiasm.


In the afternoon of the last day of the course, we were looking at the created fabrics together when the ranger asked us to leave the area as quickly as possible. Temperatures over 30° C and strong winds were expected for the next day. Should a fire break out somewhere, it would quickly get out of control. Never before had I experienced such a situation, suddenly I was in the middle of the "Black Summer", the Australian bushfire season 2019/2020 and felt this threat first hand.


Hundreds of different fires, especially in the southeast of Australia, some of which raged uncontrollably for weeks, 34 people died. Over 186,000 sq km of land was destroyed, more than 3 trillion animals, an unimaginable disaster. Forests and areas that I had passed through with incredible amazement at the beauty of nature just before were destroyed. Miraculously, the ANU Coastal Campus site in Kiola was spared.


I didn't know all this when I set off with Jane Frost through the vast eucalypt forests and along the stunning beaches of the Sapphire Coast to Tuross Heads. For a few days I was her guest, she showed me the untouched beauty of this area before I moved on to Margaret River in Western Australia for the last workshop.


Here, too, women with immense plant knowledge met and we discovered the magic of algae on fabric. Together with Irit and Ludmila I spent the last days before their departure in Sydney. Anne Foy showed us her city, Omila Bir opened her fabric warehouse with wonderful treasures from India for us. I got on the bus south, spent creative days with Sue Barford at Potatoe Point at her house with a view, and used the app "Fires near me" to plan my onward journey. The fires were getting closer, it was not certain if I could continue my journey as planned via Eden to Melbourne. I still got through, but over Christmas the people in Lakes Entrance could only be evacuated from the water.


At Beautiful Silks' cottage and studio in Allansford, I filled Marion Gorr's giant pot with countless bundles. "silky merino" from her store and the countless different varieties of eucalyptus from her garden, I was in 7th heaven. Filled with eucalyptus-scented fabrics, suitcase, backpack and bags almost burst at the seams on my way back to Melbourne.


Tasmania, largest island of Australia at the end of the world, wild, untamed beauty, tropical eucalyptus and rainforests, vast grassy steppes, fascinating mountains, endless sandy beaches and marsupials. I spent the first days in Freycinet National Park, hiking, enjoying Tasmanian wine and seafood. During the trips I always kept an eye on the roadside, looking out for Eucalyptus Cordata, this variety gives especially spectacular prints. I will never forget the locations of these very special trees! (One is just to the left as you drive into Bicheno from the south, just past the town sign. Meanwhile I am the proud owner of 4 small Cordata, they spend the frosty time in Lower Bavaria in my winter garden) On the beaches I found various algae  and I rolled my bundles on the floor in the bathroom.


A special experience was the four-day hike in the Bay of Fires. Wild coast, white sandy beaches, the rocks covered with luminous orange lichen, how many different shades of turquoise can crystal clear water actually have? Just walk, look, marvel, let your mind wander, enjoy this special power and magic of this unique place.


I spent the turn of the year in the northwest of the island, in Stanley, a small, cozy town, houses in colonial style, sheltered in the shadow of a 143 m high solidified magma chamber, called "The Nut". Wallabies and pademelons (small marsupials) hop through the streets in the morning and evening. On the beach a visitor platform to watch at night the little penguins that come to the beach at this time of year to feed their young, who wait all day alone in breeding burrows for their penguin parents.


Before diving into the city life of Hobart, I spent quiet days in a cottage overlooking Bruny Island, above Gardners Bay, surrounded by untouched nature with ancient eucalyptus forests, giant tree ferns and the wildlife living here. I roamed through the forests and couldn't get enough of this special spot on earth.


I wanted to use the stay in Hobart to process my eucalyptus stock that I had accumulated in the last weeks. But my aluminum pot could not be heated on the modern induction hob - the super disaster. Finally, I put the pot in the oven. My fabrics turned out fantastically beautiful.


10 weeks is a long time, the opportunity to meet new people, discover foreign places, work with the completely unknown plants, but still far too short. There is still so much to discover, so much to marvel at, so many new experiences to have. I took hundreds of photos that always inspire me for my work, that allow me to go on the journey in my mind and develop new ideas.


In late February 2020, the eucalyptus trees near Potatoe Point began new sprouting after the devastating fires, and life returned.