Seaweed Arboretum - Flora

The artworks in this series are made from an array of unique seaweeds from Australia’s Great Southern Reef - the 8,000km rocky reef that stretches the entire coast from Kalbarri In Western Australia to the NSW /Queensland border. It is an interconnected, biodiverse underwater system, characterised by forests of a wide range of seaweeds.

The seaweeds in Flora were collected from the shores of South Australia and the South Coast of NSW and then washed, arranged, dried and pressed over a period of several weeks. The daily process became a quiet meditation - and a ‘dialogue’ developed between artist and seaweed. The time spent immersed with the seaweeds was rewarded with the joy and delight of connecting with another life form through close observation.

Floating the pressed seaweeds in transparent box frames responded to their buoyant fluidity underwater. The frames are then mounted slightly out from the wall, to cast a ‘shadow memory’ of their prior underwater life.

Seaweed species Included in this marine botanical arboretum of aqueous plant life are:

  • Cystophora retorta
  • Phyllospora comosa (Crayweed)
  • Ecklonia radiata (Golden Kelp)
  • Caulocystis cephalornithos
  • Seirococcus axillaris
  • Codium fragile
  • Codium platyclados
  • Hypnea sp
  • Delisea pulchra
  • Durvillea potatorum (Bull Kelp)

The advice of museum conservators informed both the drying and pressing of the seaweeds, as well as the construction of the archival perspex boxes to ensure the quality and longevity of the artworks. The boxes are hermetically sealed to ensure no moisture ingress within the frame.