Environmental weed series 2001

Environmental Weed Series 2001 (artist statement from the exhibition catalogue ‘Precious Women’)

Human impact on the environment is the premise of this work.

Since colonization Australia’s unique and fragile flora has been steadily disappearing. This situation continues unabated. My work addresses the phenomenon of certain non-indigenous plants escaping from public spaces or domestic environments such as the back yard. Known as environmental weeds, these introduced plant species adapt brilliantly to Australian conditions invading natural systems, adversely effecting regeneration of native vegetation and threatening the survival of indigenous plant life and animals.

While words such as deforestation bring to mind images of clearing, burning and woodchipping, my interest lies in how the plants people choose for their gardens are potentially as destructive. The forms of these pieces recall old cardboard museum containers used to store seeds and other tiny objects. The images on the surfaces are botanical illustrations of Australian plants from the first exploratory voyages by artists such as Joseph Pierre Redouté and Sydney Parkinson. Inside containers are examples of some of Australia’s most voracious environmental weeds.