An artist's contribution to the study of biological soil crusts
Australian National Botanic Gardens Gallery, Canberra
11 November- 6 December 2015

As the 2015 Artist in Residence at the CSIRO National Research Collections Australia, I will be exhibiting sketches and sculpture inspired by biological soil crusts at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. The exhibition is a timely and significant contribution in 2015, the International Year of Soils. It also coincides with the annual conference of the Australasian Systematic Botany Society ‘Building Our Botanical Capital’.

The Interface exhibition presents 40 pieces, comprising a variety of 2D and 3D works. Visitors will discover shadow boxes filled with miniature sculptural scenes lifted from the earth’s surface. Juxtaposed natural wood and detailed polymer clay work on glass will leave visitors guessing what is real and what is handmade.

I will also present limited edition prints of my detailed drawings that capture highlights from my residency. The stories alone are worth a visit to this exhibition. Some stories are amusing, many are troubling and some remain mysterious. Large original drawings that reference other famous artworks (‘The Scream’ by Edvard Munch, ‘L’Origine Du Monde’ by Gustave Courbet, and ‘Found’ by Frank MCubbin) suggest a new paradigm in which scientific activities form culture directly.

My sculptures, (particularly ‘Time of the Essence’, which is comprised of interactive sand timers), invite visitors to participate in the same transformational journey that I have travelled with soil crusts throughout the year.

Come and say hello. While the exhibition is running, I will be present in the gallery between 9.30am- 2.30pm, 7 days a week (except for 19- 22 November, when I will be studying lichen in the field at the special conservation site of Montague Island, Narooma). I would love to see you there!     N