Australia’s native bushland is an exciting pursuit for any budding naturalist, and in our newest exhibition, Bundanon, artists Alice Whish and Vicki Mason investigate the flora and fauna native to the Bundanon area.
Embedded in the works of this exhibition are ideas that interrogate how plants have the capacity to connect us to place; revealing something of the genius loci or the spirit of that place.
Bundanon presents new works which resulted from a joint Residency with the Bundanon Trust in 2018. Their findings, as well as the isolated location of Bundanon, reveal much about the property itself and the surrounding landscape. What is uncovered is universal: a dialogue concerning the efficacy of plants and their ability to help us understand nature and the world.
Alice Whish’s work is influenced by her deep respect for the beliefs and values surrounding the Aboriginal practice of burning bushland to regenerate plants. At Bundanon the Mudjingaalbarraga (fire group) explained how the appropriate and timely use of fire has significant positive effects on the Australian bushland. Her interests focus on plants that regenerate after a fire and the differences individuals experience walking through the bush and how they navigate this environment, prior to and following a fire.
Vicki Mason’s work investigates ideas about keeping plant knowledge alive at a time when plant literacy is declining. Through digging into the stories and connections people have with select plants of the property, plants are labelled and become known and loved. Tim Entwisle, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, states, ‘naming plants is part of our cultural story telling’ and it is this story telling ability that underpins Mason’s new works.
Alice Whish is one of a distinctive group of Australian jewellers who have come from a rural background in New South Wales. Her work continues to have a strong connection not only to the “wide brown land, but also to the sky above”. Over 10 years she has worked with women in north-east Arnhem Land on collaborative jewellery projects. She holds a Bachelor of Visual Art from Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney University, a Master of Art, Fine Art in Gold and Silversmithing from RMIT and a Master of Higher Education from the University of New South Wales.
Vicki Mason is an artist based in Melbourne, whose work references her passion for plants as subject. She is interested in notions of place, belonging and life cycles; using plants as metaphors to represent these ideas.
Mason holds a Master of Philosophy (by Research), majoring in Gold and Silversmithing, from the Australian National University. As an Undergraduate, she studied a Bachelor of Arts, Majoring in Art and Architecture, before going on to pursue a Diploma in Craft Design, majoring in Jewellery, at Otago Polytechnic School of Art in Dunedin, NZ.
In light of the current Covid crisis we request that all visitors register upon entry and maintain social distancing.