Medicinal Plant Cycles



Featured on ABC TV, available in archives: Gardening Australia Series 27 Ep 19

This exhibition, first shown at POP Gallery Woolloongabba Qld in October 2015, also includes selected images from the following albums: Unfolding Rhythms, TreeLine, and Core Energy

Selected works were exhibited at the Redland Art Gallery Cleveland Qld, April - June 2016. Some details available here from the official opening event by Dr Victoria Cooper.

All images are archival pigment prints on Hahnemühle Torchon paper, and are available for sale.

The work in this exhibition, Medicinal Plant Cycles, draws on natural science and extensive consultations and discussions with members of the Quandamooka community of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island).

These images of medicinal plants are based on the fusion of organic and photographic materials in a process of decomposition that I name the biochrome. They are generated by arranging plant samples on photographic emulsions and allowing them to transform through the bacterial micro-organic activities that are part of cyclic decay and regeneration. The process of developing images through decomposition led me to work with time-lapse photography, and the time-lapse videos record the blossoming and movement of fungi and microbes.

The audio recordings are excerpts from recorded dialogues with several Quandamooka People, and I acknowledge with deep appreciation their willingness to participate. The title of this exhibition refers to plant cycles, cycles of decay and renewal, the cycle of passing on knowledge, the cycle of time, seasons, and the constant flux of natural processes.

Through this exhibition, I hope to reveal a beauty in decomposition and raise notions of transformative cycles. This focus on Minjerribah medicinal plants aims to promote the recognition, appreciation, and value of local medicinal plants in the context of Aboriginal knowledge and natural science.



Selected plants in Jandai language (spoken on Stradbroke and Moreton Islands):

Acacia concurrens (black wattle) – gagagil
Carpobrotus glaucescens (pigface) – babragowi
Corymbia gummifera (red bloodwood) – badna
Eucalyptus tereticornis (blue gum) – mangar
Melaleuca quinquenervia (paper bark tea tree) – wuji (oodgeroo)
Pteridium esculentum (common bracken) – jurbin
Rubus parvifolius (native raspberry) – jalabin

Ref: Margaret Iselin, Fey Mabb, Richard Day, Lyn Shipway, Marlene Kerr, and Sandra Delaney, Jandai Language Dictionary: A Dictionary of Language Spoken on Stradbroke and Moreton Islands Based on Words Remembered by All Elders and Recorded by Interested Visitors to Our Shores (Dunwich, Qld: Minjerribah Moorgumpin Elders-in-Council Aboriginal Corporation, 2011).



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