title_ After Nature

date_ 2019

exhibition_ After Nature, 1 March – 10 June, Level 1 Galleries

location_ Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

description_ After Nature is an exhibition consisting of both survey and new works curated by Rachel Kent, opening next March at the MCA. The exhibition will express our relationship to our fragile environment and an awareness that we are within the era of the ‘Anthropocene’.

Early alchemical works will be represented alongside recreated environmental installations such as Birdsong, Heart Shock: Blood and Chlorophyll, Deep Breathing: Resuscitation for the Reef, Vanishing andCellular Gardens. These works explore the poetics of space and materiality, dealing with our experiential and cultural relationship with the natural world. Many of these works bring into light specimens from the stored natural history collections of the Australian Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.

Janet’s new work, Theatre of Trees, will form the circular nucleus of the show. It addresses our cultural, political and biological relationship to trees as well as the fragility of our natural environment.

Within the Theatre of Trees, three cellular spaces will be created:

  • Wonder: A herbarium with materials from Janet’s botanical gatherings
  • Tree of Knowledge: A botanical library
  • Elixir Lab: A space for experiencing and sampling the juices of medicinal plants

A series of participatory public events will additionally unfold throughout the duration of the show. These include:

  • Tree Stories: A collaboration with Sydney University in which philosophers, poets and scientists will bring aspects of trees to a public audience
  • The Green Line: A procession piece to parliament house against land clearing
  • ElixirMedicinal: Plant Juice tastings

Janet’s body of works and public events will bring us into the botanical world and articulate our interconnection with it. It creates fugitive spaces that express nature’s ephemerality through a language of veiling, transparency and translucency. The exhibition will promote environmental awareness and stewardship at this critical time for our planet.