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In Our Nature, Curated by Sarah Rose

In Our Nature

Gemma Anderson, Lisa Carrett, Elise Catterall, Lizzy Halyard, Rebecca Hinwood, Hannah James, Alexandra Mitchell, Eva Nolan, Vivienne Pintado, Lana Prideaux- Remin, Sophie Rich, Douglas Schofield, & Rachel Seeto

In Our Nature presents contemporary representations of nature and botanic studies by thirteen emerging Sydney-based artists. This exhibition mediates and visualises our local Australian culture, which is imbued with a nationalistic and historical resonance to our landscape and the flora that encompasses it; nature and culture are interwoven. The botanicals depicted in the exhibition exude a palpable sense of Australian identity, oscillating between interpretations of our imperial heritage embodied in European flowers, and our traditional narratives through emblematic natives; both which can be found in the gardens of Hazelhurst. Communally, the artists have utilised contemporary artistic modes of representation, moving beyond the traditionally scientific and documentary, towards material-focused, emotive, tactile, and visceral forms. The exhibition features a range of disciplines including contemporary installation, painting, printmaking, ceramics, drawing, jewellery design, photography, moving-image, textiles, and sculpture.

The duality of nature as both environmental and behavioural becomes evident within the exhibition, consolidating the notion that we as humans instinctively and impulsively feel a longing or necessity to observe, engage, and interpret our natural ecology; an autonomous process of returning to our roots.

The exhibition acts as a bouquet of diverse personal narratives and reflections, navigating each artist’s individualised and spiritual connection with botanica, void of mere documentation and replication. These conversations between artist and nature, stratify the potential for humans to not just perceive nature, but to have a reciprocal exchange with it through collaboration. These contemporary collaborations provide agency for the artists to explore notions of place, journey, form, intimacy, fragility, and memory through botanical representations. Although each artwork differs in intent, the exhibition as a whole fundamentally alludes to the inevitability of life’s cyclical nature, exploring the ground between birth, growth, death, and decay.

Author: Sarah Rose 

Full Essay

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