Artwork at the Herbarium
On the forecourt of the Herbarium at the Australian Botanic Garden is an artwork celebrating the heritage of Indigenous culture.
Artists Susan Grant, Natalie Valiente and Codie Leed Evans developed artwork installed in 2023 after the conceptualisation and design work. The images were sandblasted into the concrete on the Herbarium forecourt. The work was supported by the New South Wales Government.
The artwork celebrates the Cumberland Plains Woodland that once covered the Cowpastures. The work directly connects science, the natural world, and the heritage of the local Indigenous peoples, the Dharawal, Darug, and Gundungurra.
The central concept and motif in the artwork is the eucalyptus tree, which becomes the Life Blood of the Indigenous peoples.
The artists were inspired by looking at a eucalyptus tree under a microscope and viewing the veins in the leaves.
In the work’s development stages, the artists held workshops and information sessions seeking input.
The site of the Australian Botanic Garden was a meeting place for the Indigenous peoples and was considered an appropriate location for the artwork.
Susan Grant writes:
We have a spiritual connection whenever we are in the botanical gardens, which influences our design and artwork, connecting us back to the land.
Susan Grant and Natalie Valiente 2023, ‘Artwork ‘Life Blood’ at The Australian Botanic Gardens’. Camden History, the Journal of the Camden Historical Society, Vol. 5 no. 5, March, pp. 225-233.
Youtube: Life Blood
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