Discover how science and art combine to highlight the importance of plant life at the Tellus Art Project at the Australian PlantBank.
The Tellus Art Project forms one part of the Herbarium Tales research project funded by the Australian Research Council and is comprised of two exhibitions running over a year. Lead Investigator Dr Prudence Gibson, a scholar in Critical Plant Studies, aims to connect plant science with the arts to make people rethink plant qualities and their engagement with herbaria. Professor Marie Sierra from the University of Melbourne has curated Exhibition 1 and other collaborators on the exciting project include Associate Professor Sigi Jottkandt from the University of NSW and Dr Brett Summerell from the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.
The artists part of the exciting collaborative project aim to re-value the prized plant specimen collection at the National Herbarium of New South Wales, which recently unveiled its new state-of-the-art facility at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan. The exhibitions aim to raise awareness of the importance of plant life and the Herbarium’s collection of more than 1 million plant specimens and visitors are encouraged to see the inspiration for the project by exploring the exciting new Herbarium facility during their visit.
Exhibition 1 | 15 May – 30 July 2022
Curated by Professor Marie Sierra
The Australian Plantbank, Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan
Open daily from 11am to 3pm
Artist: Associate Professor Fabri Blacklock
Associate Professor Fabri Blacklock is a textile artist who encompasses environmentally friendly arts practises utilising natural dyes from Australian native plants to hand dye natural materials. She has mixed English and Scottish ancestry and her family are also Nucoorilma/Ngarabal people from Tingha and Glen Innes, and Biripi people from Dingo Creek in New South Wales Australia. Her research utilises Aboriginal research methodologies of yarning, art and deep listening and she has been instrumental in the revival and teaching of NSW Aboriginal women’s artistic practices like possum and kangaroo skin cloak making and weaving.
Artist: Dr Anna Madeleine Raupach
Dr Anna Madeleine Raupach references natural cycles specific to scientific fields of dendrochronology and astronomy. She is interested the mismatch between human and non-human temporalities and creates mixed-reality artworks and electronic installations that allow new temporal and spatial relationships to form between natural, human, and technological representations of time. “Vivid Frequencies” is an audio-visual experience that turns a smartphone camera into moving image artwork responsive to participants’ proximity to specific plant species. Through coded visual alterations and layered sonic compositions, based on current and future location data, her work accentuates our shared presence in divergent scales of time and space. Specific works that connect with plant life have developed through an innovative use of augmented reality (AR) that uses natural objects as recognition markers to express how bioindicators embody climate data about past and current ecosystems.
The Tellus Art Project is an exciting collaboration between the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, the University of NSW Art and Design, Bundanoon Trust and Open Humanities Press.