This artist's latest exhibition aims to display the environment around us in a different form.
Shalome Lateef had spent years working on her craft turning seeds, trees, flowers and plants into beads and jewellery, with her latest collection on display in Unicorn Lane.
Entitled Beads and Biodiversity, she said she hoped the artwork evoked feelings of nourishment, "both by the beauty of the beads and by the plants they are made from".
"The idea really was to showcase trees that grow locally and that thrive here," Lateef said.
While some of the plants she uses are introduced species, she said they were good at growing in the Ballarat region.
Lateef's interest in bead-making started while travelling in the Northern Territory.
She was there as part of a travelling, non-verbal theatre group performing a show on domestic violence.
"Because it didn't have English language, it could be performed anywhere and people would get the sense of it," Lateef said.
While in the north of the country she saw long strings of ininti created "according to the instruction of Elders from Yuendumu" about 300km north-west from Alice Springs.
Lateef said ininti were seeds made from batswing coral.
"I was just really very enamoured with them and so collected a whole lot in a day and was shown how to string them and burn holes."
Years later, Lateef tried her hand at making wooden beads where she used blackwood from Trentham.
Growing up in the area, she said it was a nice way to connect her experiences growing up near the Wombat Forest and also her time in the desert.
The process of creating beads from all these different mediums could be tedious and sometimes surprisingly challenging, Lateef said.
"Flowers involve quite a lengthy cooking process - you have to cook them and blend them," she said.
Then there are a number of cooking processes until they are a paste that can be moulded.
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Wood and seeds can involve sanding, burning and drilling using hand tools.
"I also noticed that each of the plants have a different kind of feel to it," Lateef said.
Some bark, for example, could be easier to remove than others. She said some pieces of wood could be very stubborn.
"They all have different personalities."
Lateef said it could be a long process for each bead.
"I find that it puts me in quite a contemplative state of mind."
Beads and Biodiversity will be on display until Tuesday, April 11.
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