Monday, April 29, 2013

Work acquired by Ipswich Art Gallery

Photo credit: donna davis
One of the first works to come from my "Plant Room" project is this work Untitled (Plant study), a work based on  the Plectranthus habrophyllus species.  This work begins to explore the energy that plants create, functioning as living powerhouses for the planet.

The work recently won "Best of Show" at the Ipswich Art Awards, and was also acquired by the Ipswich Art Gallery, for the City of Ipswich Collection.  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Plant Cloning

Photo credit: donna davis
One of the research components of the "Plant Room" project explores plant cloning: a method that can create many plants from the tissue of just one plant, producing exact copies of the host plant.  An accepted technique in the commercial world: this exploration considers the ecological implications of plant cloning in a world where many flora species are on the decline.

I have been conducting cloning trials (aka micropropagation) on one of the species which I am lucky enough to have growing in my back yard: Melaleuca irbyana (Swamp Tea-tree).   The images above show the progress of the Melaleuca irbyana it was very slow in getting started, however, is well on its way now!

As part of my residency - research aspect - I have arranged to spend a day with the horticultural staff in the gardens to learn more about propagation techniques, processes and protocols.

Residency Update: Learning how to prepare dry specimens at the Herbarium

Last Tuesday saw me working with staff at the Queensland Herbarium, learning the process of mounting dry specimens.  This was an invaluable experience learning about where the specimens come from, how they should be presented, what they are used for and how they are catalogued and stored.

Photo credit: donna davis
Being surrounded by such passionate herbarium staff was wonderful, sharing their knowledge on many botanical topics - which will be very helpful for my "Plant Room" project.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Plant Room update

Plant Room project update

This artistic research project explores the decline of flora of South East Queensland with a particular focus on the Ipswich area: examining five native plants to the area which are currently listed as Endangered.

In order to find out more about endangered plants I met with staff from the Queensland Herbarium who provided a list of endangered plants from South East Queensland region.

I then began research to establish which plants on the list were located in the Ipswich and surrounding areas.  I decided to select (5) five plant species to become the focus of my artworks for The Plant Room project.

The five endangered species I decided to select for the project are:

1.  Plectranthus habrophyllus
2.  Notelaea ipsviciensis (Cooneana Olive)
3.  Planchonella eerwah (Shiny leaved condoo, Black plum, Wild Apple)
4.  Gossia gonoclada (Angle-stemmed myrtle)
5.  Melaleuca irbyana (Swamp tea-tree)

I am now into my third month at the Mt Cootha Botanic Gardens artist in residence and have undertaken both research and conceptual trials to develop works for the Plant Room project.  For more information on the progression of the project please click on the "Plant Room" tab on the left side bar under the title "Artworks and Projects".