Back to the garden, 2022
pencil, Chinese and pigmented ink on Arches
115 x 66 cm
During Covid lockdowns I began working with local plants, this work is inspired by invasive couch grass. SOS is a universally recognised call for help, here it talks about plant species diversity whilst also alluding to the human body.
Back to the garden refers to the last line of the chorus of Joni Mitchell’s Woodstock song, ‘And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.’ So this is a political work, I think we have to find a way to recognise our connection with the natural world before we destroy it.
I collect plant remnants from the edges of human activity as starting points to make work that examines our relationship with the natural world. In 2019 I installed 400 plants, 40 years of collecting, in ‘On the Edge’, at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery. In 2015 I began a new body of work after witnessing an extreme erosion event during a residency at Point Nepean,’The trees are falling into the sea and other stories’. More recently, during Covid lockdowns, I began collecting and working with invasive couch grass, culminating in this piece, ‘Back to the garden’.