Second Studio visit, this time the students from Stella Maris High School.
You talked about weeds and how this investigation of yours fit within the charta of the Artist in Residence Program of Bundanon.
You talked and it was surprising how easy it was to present the idea.
No difficult questions.
It always amuse you how art (or anything labelled as such for that matter) always gets unmistakably revered.
If it is “Art” then is not arguable, untouchable.
Any artist’ motive automatically became noble quest.
Even with such a controversial work as mine.
You long for an argument against, really.
You long for a tight corner, like that time you were discussing the WeedyConnection project as a metaphor for human migration to this continent, in a casual conversation with this friend of a friend.
The person you were talking to was a fantastically articulate one.
She disputed that arguing for botanical Darwinism would metaphorically imply you were arguing for social Darwinism as well. You found yourself cornered in a very dangerous spot!
How could you even metaphorically align yourself with any of those practices of Hegel philosophy gone mad?
How could you argue for the survival of the fittest?.
That corner was needed, that corner made you realise where the walls were. That corner made you look for the rope which would have swung you back in the middle of the room, where there is space to move, metaphorical and conceptual space.
That corner made you reposition your project.
The fact that you dispute the cultural legitimacy of non-indigenous species is the spotlight with which you highlight the anthropocentric attitude we- human, all of us- have towards the environment.
With this you don’t try to say is all right that Lantana is taking over the undergrowth of Bundanon hills, rather you casting the spotlight on WHY it is that Lantana is able to do so.
Those hills got logged and stripped of their fragile ecosystem by colonialistic politics, and THEN Lantana moved in.
We human keep making decisions for the environment blind folded by our egocentric needs.
What you try to do with this project is culturally reconnect people with the environment, reminding us all that deep down we all come from a long-lasting direct relationship with the dirt.
The foraging practices that sustained our ancestors are common to all cultures.
Environmental sustainability is directly linked to our understanding of it, and our outmost need of realising we ARE part of it in infinitesimal more ways then just a managerial role.
All of the cultures now represented in Australia can now see plants out there which sustained their ancestors. We should cherish them, as those are the plants which fed our blood for millennia.
We have to finally understand a mono-cultural attitude towards the environment is killing it. And us with it.
Aboriginal Australian knew this from thousands of years.
Different nations and languages coexisted in harmony , defined by their surroundings and the nature around them.
They had a deep understanding that humans are just small players in the overall game.
Earth would survive us regardless.
Would we grow with it?