In this film Aunty Deidre Martin reads her poem Acacia Longifolia. The sounds of Bundanon: the kookaburra, the whip bird, and the wind in the trees float in and out as she reads. A length of cloth holds the poem and corresponding imagery. It tracks through a heated dye bath where colour from Acacia longifolia leaves are taken up by metal salts printed on the cloth.
This work tracks relations between Acacia Longifolia and the seasons. The plant is part of the weather patterns and interconnected life cycles of this place. It is part of a weather network, reporting quietly to those who hold knowledge or who stop to observe and care.
Poem: Aunty Deidre Martin with Lisa Gorton Rebecca Mayo with Aunty Deidre Martin and Jacob Morris, The Plant Sensibilia Machine, 2022-23 stainless steel, PVC pipe, bicycle chain, plant material collected at Bundanon, water, hemp, printed metal salts, installation view, Siteworks 2022: From a deep valley. Photo: Zan Wimberley.
The Tellus Art Project 2022 is a collaboration between UNSW Art and Design, the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens Herbarium, Bundanon and Open Humanities Press.
A poet, novelist and essayist, Lisa Gorton has written for the Melbourne Now volume from the National Gallery of Victoria, and for Izabela Pluta’s artwork Apparent Distance in The National (2019) at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Lisa also wrote poems for Pluta’s artist’s book Figures of slippage and oscillation (Perimeter Press, 2021), and for Buxton Contemporary’s multi-disciplinary project This is a Poem (2021). Lisa holds a doctorate in English Literature from Oxford University. Her awards include the Prime Minister’s Prize for Fiction, the NSW People’s Choice Award for Fiction, the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry, and the Philip Hodgkins Memorial Medal. This year, Giramondo published Lisa’s fourth poetry collection, Mirabilia.
Deidre Martin is a Walbanga woman of the Yuin Nation. Her connection to country is through her father, who was born in Nowra on the South Coast of NSW. In her work with the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service and her business Bugiya Naway Buridja Aunty Deidre teaches about her Culture to schools and the community. By sharing her Knowledge of Country & Culture she aims to engender a greater awareness, understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal People & Culture. She consulted for the new Campbelltown Hospital. Drawing on her cultural knowledge of plants, bush foods and medicine, she worked closely with artist Erica Seccombe.
Rebecca Mayo lectures at the School of Art & Design, ANU. Her practice examines how an art practice built around process, repetition and labour can produce artworks that manifest through—and reveal—practices of care. She uses site- and species-specific plant-dye to make visible the interdependence between plants and people, and the resulting relations of reciprocal care. Habitus (Heide Museum of Modern Art) and It’s in the bag (Caves, Melbourne) contributed to Climarte’s Art+Climate=Change Festival in 2017 and 2019. Her work A cure for plant blindness, was exhibited at CLIMATE CARE: Reimagining Shared Planetary Futures, at the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), during the Vienna Biennale for Change, 2021.
Bundanon’s annual presentation of environmental research projects and public programs has a decade-long history. In 2022, Siteworks is presenting a family of projects that draw on climate research, critical thinking through contemporary art, creative digital spaces, and Indigenous knowledge and technologies. The starting point for Siteworks 2022 is the concept of the weather report, borrowed to map both environmental and emotional spaces, and chronicle internal and external landscapes.
This expansive program includes a new exhibition, outdoor installations, a laboratorium space for workshops and performances, as well as talks and events over weekends throughout the season. Siteworks 2022 posits the artist as a kind of weather balloon, capturing a collection of reports on our place and our time.
Commissioned by Bundanon; part of the weather station in Bundanon, NSW, Australia