Wild Stories, the exhibition

WILD STORIES
Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
1/12/12 – 31/1/13

“Imagine a world where we are all connected with nature – all species cohabitating in harmony, giving space to each other and allowing for the survival and thriving of each and one another.”

- Diego Bonetto

Artist, naturalist and forager, Diego Bonetto presents Wild Stories, an exhibition and public program about community and cultural connections with the Australian environment. Wild Stories is the result of an 18 month artist in residence program at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre. This residency built on Bonetto’s longstanding commitment towards challenging and undermining our preconceived understanding of rightfully belonging species. Bonetto subverts our reading of everyday nature using age-old stories; stories from all over the world related to the species living amongst us, particularly weeds.
Wild Stories aims to provide an entry point into environmental belonging and cultural identity. As exotic as weeds may seem, Bonetto successfully harvests the knowledge, experience and traditions that people of South West Sydney inherently possess or underuse, often embedded in the traditional practices of pickled foods, medicinal herb remedies, crafts, wine, folklore and mythology. Moreover, Bonetto engages with disciplines as far apart as biology, ethno-botany, anthropology, sociology and theology in order to substantiate the need for a new understanding of environmental care, respect and stewardship.
Many people were involved in the production of Wild Stories. Diego Bonetto and Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre would like to thank all of those who have made a contribution.

About info

Diego Bonetto is a multimedia artist living and practicing in Sydney, Australia, and is a key member of artists' collectives SquatSpace and the BigFAGPress. -The SquatSpace collective has been producing ground-breaking events and projects since 2000. The group has been curated in a number of shows both in Australia and overseas. The current initiatives, the Redfern-Waterloo Tour of beauty (www.squatspace.com/redfern) tackle issues of social representation and the politics of space generated by gentrification. -The BigFagPress (BFP) is a publishing facility housed in Wooloomooloo, Sydney. The BFP is a salvaged 4-tonnes Off-set proof press. The press allows for the creation of countless artworks by keen printmakers and self-started publishers. www.bigfagpress.org Diego has also been working with WeedyConnection, an environmental art campaign. The project involves an online resource (www.weedyconnection.com), short documentary films, cooking shows, blogs, installations, prints, facebook interventions and various site-specific installations in the form of self-guided tours. WeedyConnection tackle the anthropocentric view of what environment should look like. Based on research and data provided by disciplines as far apart as biology, anthropology, paloenthology, social ecology and ethno botany it formulates ethical questions about cultural representation in times of environmental urgency.
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