Saturday, August 28, 2010

MID 2010: Open Studio Week at Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha

A whole month in June/July was taken up with planning and conducting a key artist-in-residence undertaking at Mt Coot-tha. The Richard Randall studio was the venue for a 7 day event that has been documented at both my artist weblog and residency blog in numerous posts.
The week showcased artwork produced for the year to date, with a collection of seeds and pods, a blogosphere mail-art show designed to promote the event and topic of seed conservation,  workshops,  information and promotion of materials related to seed conservation and awareness and 2 days of public dialogue events. 

The Randall Studio


A communal table (pictured above) with mini cafe was set up as a meeting place to promote engagement with the residency material. Visitors to the Botanic Gardens came from both interstate and overseas as well as the local region.  Much promotion brought many participants - particularly for the dialogue events. The Mail-Art show also drew quite a number who had read about it via the global blogosphere which had most fortunately picked up the project and further promoted it on my behalf.

The 'Homage to the Seed' proposal undertaken this year has involved several strands of activity and interaction which were successfully demonstrated during this week of public engagement.

The foundation for the Botanic Gardens experience has been involvement in the Seed Lab at Mt Coot-tha so it was excellent to be able to include a presentation by Jason Halford on the work of the 'Seeds for life' Project which is running in conjunction with the Millennium Seed bank Project in the UK. Jason's excellent presentation spelt out the complex nature of the work being done, from the research of where in Queensland seeds are collected and why, to the methods of collecting and documenting as they go, to the work done at the lab on return  - cleaning seeds and preparing them to be sent to the Kew Garden's Seed Bank in the UK....whilst storing seeds locally as well.

Jason Halford presenting on Seeds for Life/MSB project

The final event - Dialogue on Seeds, Biodiversity and Sustainability - involved 2 key speakers and several brief presentations which broadened the Homage to the Seed discussion into a range of topics that included urban food growing, food security, loss of habitat for industry (mining) and development, land regeneration (esp after mining), and school gardening programs.

Sally McCreath, Nicki Laws (Darling Downs - Farms not Mines advocacy) and Chruschill Fellow (2009) Corinne Unger. (Regeneration of Mining sites -Soil and Land Regeneration)

The most rewarding outcome of the week was observing the keen public engagement ... seeing that the comprehensive range of seed related material being showcased did in fact allow people to find a way in to consider more fully the broad spectrum of issues and aspects of our global Seed Heritage.

Carolyn Nuttall - Founder in 1992 of Edible Gardens in Schools in Brisbane region. Her book is published in various languages and still widely used.

Read more here: You've got mail! and here at Hot off the press.

The Mail art show:

Seeds on display

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About Me

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Blogging for me is an extension of keeping a journal which I have done in various forms over the decades. The difference being this is not a closed book! I like that it offers an opportunity to explore that which concerns me as an artist and as an individual about living and participating in this vastly complex, unquestionably exciting yet unnerving time in human history. Through the blog I hope to increase the possibilties for cross-pollination which I believe can strengthen the sense of being part of something both personal and universal that is vital, expansive and refreshing.