DANIEL CROOKS: BOUNDARY CONDITIONS
Boundary Conditions is an ambitious video work that seamlessly weaves together an alternate world […]Read More
In Still Life, imagination and empirical observation unite in contemplation of life’s interconnectedness. Exquisite drawings and models from the University of Melbourne’s Herbarium collection represent artistic and scientific traditions in which natural organisms are depicted in isolation from their environment. These teaching tools contrast with contemporary artworks by eleven artists that celebrate the complexities of nature, emphasising interdependence and shifting states of being.
Focusing on symbiotic relationships and interspecies entanglements, these artworks consider the underground mycelial networks that connect forests, the giant termite mounds that provide a home for mutualistic communities, and the microorganisms that inhabit human bodies and are integral to our existence.
Angelica Mesiti is one of 11 artists in Still Life. Her work Over the Air and Underground, 2020, originally commissioned by the Busan Biennale 2020, turns her exploration of communication and translation to forest communication, carried through the living systems beneath our feet and through the air around us. In the root structures and growth networks beneath forests, as well as through airborne processes, plant life is known to communicate – to share information about threats and pests, and to even distribute sugar to enable the survival of ‘the community’, which forester and author Peter Wohlleben calls ‘social security’. Like Dutch vanitas paintings of old – still life paintings reminding viewers of mortality – Over the Air and Underground is a meditative encounter that reminds us we are not separate from the world around us.