Seaweed Arboretum - Forest


Seaweed Arboretum - Forest

Seaweed Arboretum – Forest is one of a suite of 3 installations, along with Flora and Float, exhibited at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum. The exhibition was held in conjunction with the Seaweed Forests Festival, and provided an evocative and immersive marine botanical environment for the month-long program of talks workshops and events.

Forest is an aerial canopy of giant bull-kelp (Durvillea potartorum), suspended from the ceiling in a darkened gallery. Slowly moving light illuminates the vast swathe of dried seaweeds to cast quietly shifting shadows on gallery walls. It is as if the seabed has been inverted - and we drift through the seaweed forest from below, as currents of atmospheric light breathe rhythmic life through the submersive space.

Throughout the exhibition, Forest was both meditative installation and communal ‘habitat’ for many of the festival talks, workshops, music & dance performances held beneath its canopy including:

Awe & Wonder of our Underwater Forests - moderated by Costa Georgiadis with Robert Cooley, Dr Shane Gould, Jennifer Turpin & Dr. Alexandra Campbell;
Seaweed: Victim & Unlikely Hero in the Fight Against Climate Change - moderated by Stephen Oliver with Prof. Tim Flannery, Sahira Bell, Oscar McMahon & Sam Elsom; Seaweeds as Food - moderated by Joanna Saville with Uncle Ken Jones, Gary Fishwick, Dr Libby Swanepoel, Zoe Brittain & Dr Pia Winberg; Innovative Uses of Seaweed through History & into the Future - moderated by Wendy Harmer with Sarah Thomas, Peter Ralph, Professor Nick Paul & Jo Lane; Making the Science Visible & Encouraging Stewardship of our Oceans - moderated by Costa Georgiadis with Melanie Bishop, Dorset Sutton, Ass. Prof. Dr Adriana Vergés & Dr Ezequiel Marzinelli; MAG&M Kids Art Adventures - Seaweed Arboretum; Great Southern Reef student and teacher workshops - Stefan Andrews; Saltwater Country (Garrigarrang Nura) education workshop - Karen Smith; Forest Flowing, music performance - James Brew, composer & Ivan Zhang; Habitat, dance performance - Kate Dunn, choreographer; Emma Grill & Jasmin Lancaster, dancers: Alistair Trung, costume design & Louie Royal, lighting design.

This project was supported by the NSW Government’s My Community Grant, and Australian Kelp Products.

Manly Art Gallery & Museum, Sydney, Australia
seaweed, aluminium frame, teflon line, kinetic lights
6 metres wide x 12 metres long x 2 metres deep

Forest production team & consultants:
Michaelie Crawford & Jennifer Turpin - artists
Louie Royal – lighting design & production assistant
Natalie O’Loughlin – production assistant
Rupert Trengove. - production assistant
Chanel Tobler - production assistant
Hugh Black - production assistant
Damian Ferrari, Michael Sheehy, Reinaldo Puentes Tucki, Isabella Puentes Tucki, Jeremy Sparks - Event Engineering

photo and video credits

Ian Hobbs Media

media and downloads