Midden life crisis
‘other echoes’ – a group show curated by Jamie Hanton in association with the Blue Oyster Art Project Space with support from the Dunedin Botanic Gardens and the Dunedin City Council.
The artists involved in the show created interventions within chosen spaces of the Gardens. Cath Cocker’s ‘playful’ Watershed was situated near the children’s playground while Clare Fleming chose the Eucalyptus tree section to comment on her trans Tasman connections. Charlotte Parallel introduced mini man-made mineral laboratories able to withstand arid conditions in the rock garden, while the information centre was inhabited with the ornithological study of a ‘rare’ bird by Nina van der Voorn.
My work, Midden life crisis, was situated inside the herb garden. A one metre, circular pit was dug out and filled with the gasified, charcoal remains of seeds. For the duration of the show, the pit was constantly monitored and topped up with the cyclic harvest and charcoal making of more seeds as they came to fruition. The herb garden allows for sampling and so I expected some seeds would be taken away or would be subjected to the elements. Their delicate composition meant they also crushed easily. The two month long exhibition made me acutely aware of the changing seasons in being on the constant lookout for ripened seeds. I saw this work as a sustainable project that reflects on human dependence and finite use of fossil fuels and the desperate need to take action in seeking alternative energy sources.
On the opening day of the exhibition which coincided with the Garden’s 150th celebrations, I held a charcoal drawing workshop with my home made charcoal. It was a fun day with messy, black fingers everywhere!