‘Medicinal Plant Cycles’ is part of practice-led research and draws on natural science along with extensive consultations and dialogues with members of the Quandamooka community of Minjerribah / North Stradbroke Island.
The exhibition includes images of healing, edible plants such as Rubus parvifolius (native raspberry), and tea trees such as Leptospermum semibaccatum used as insect repellent and antiseptic for treating various health conditions.
These images were developed by a fusion of organic and photographic materials in a process of natural decomposition, a technique of image making I call the biochrome. Generated through bacterial micro-organic activity, arranged plants and developed light-sensitive photographic papers are transformed through cyclic decay and regeneration. This process reveals what is usually invisible to the eye; the biological chemical progression of decay and degeneration. It also highlights that selected plants have therapeutic properties and were used for thousands of years.
Through this exhibition, I hope to reveal a beauty in decomposition and raise notions of transformative cycles; plant cycles, cycles of decay and renewal, the cycle of passing on knowledge, the cycle of time, seasons, and the constant flux of natural processes. This focus on Minjerribah medicinal plants aims to promote the recognition, appreciation and value of local medicinal plants in the context of Aboriginal knowledge and natural science.
I acknowledge the Quandamooka People, and with deep appreciation thank the members of the community for their willingness to participate and share their stories.