Adelaide Botanic Garden Plays Host to 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: DARK HEART, Now thru Sept 14
Following the huge success of Skywhale, Adelaide Botanic Garden will again play host to the 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Dark Heart, with an exhibition of ambitious works of art in a range of media by Biennial artist Caroline Rothwell.
Titled Urpflanze street plants, the exhibition opens today 11 April in the Santos Museum of Economic Botany and will run until Sunday 14 September, 2014.
In this exhibition Rothwell references Goethe's theory of the archetypal plant, or Urpflanze, published in 1790 in The Metamorphosis of Plants. Rothwell riffs on Goethe to explore our changing and perilous relationship with the environment.
In her Urpflanze series Rothwell creates hybrid, 'uberweeds' by combining weeds from a single urban location to make an ironic 'superplant'. These botanical style works are then embroidered onto military camouflage.
Rothwell further explores the art of botanical illustration by using exhaust, carefully collected from car exhaust pipes, to make drawings of insects. A series of cut PVC 'paintings' will also be on display and by using this material Rothwell asks us to question our commodification of nature, a challenge to the audience made all the more relevant in the context of the Santos Museum of Economic Botany.
2014 Adelaide Biennial Curator, Nick Mitzevich describes Rothwell as an artist with a practice that is 'singular and experimental, she is constantly pushing her work in terms of both materials and ideas....Rothwell is part mad inventor, part environmentalist and part poet.'
"The themes of Rothwell's work are especially relevant in the space, the Santos Museum of Economic Botany is an extension of the story, a historical backdrop for the questions raised by the exhibition," said Stephen Forbes, Director, Botanic Gardens of Adelaide.
Urpflanze street plants runs from Friday 11 April to Sunday 14 September at the Santos Museum of Economic Botany, Adelaide Botanic Garden. Admission is free. Open 10am to 4pm, daily. Caroline Rothwell also has work on display at the Art Gallery of South Australia as part of the 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Dark Heart. For further information visit, www.adelaidebiennial.com.au.
About the Adelaide Biennial: The Adelaide Biennial has a 24 year history and is the country's longest running survey of contemporary Australian art. Established in 1990 it was initiated by Daniel Thomas, then Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia, as an antipodean version of the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
Known for its risk taking, expansive vision and desire to educate and inform the general public about contemporary Australian art, the event demonstrates the Art Gallery of South Australia's unswerving commitment to current Australian art.
The Adelaide Biennial has always displayed the best contemporary work in the context of Australian artist's engagement with the world in which we live. It is forward thinking, timely and perhaps uniquely capable of expressing the dominant concerns and position of the visual arts in our time.