Talla­wong’s plant library brings north­west­ern neigh­bours together

Helen Pitt
The Sydney Morning Herald

Grow­ing up in Fair­field, artist Lau­ren Brincat’s Egypt­ian grand­par­ents had a back­yard veg­etable patch, not just to save mon­ey but also to help root them in the soil of Syd­ney suburbia.

It helped make my grand­par­ents feel at home, all the immi­grant fam­i­lies in Fair­field had veg­etable gar­dens … and they swapped seeds many had brought from Europe which helped cre­ate a close com­mu­ni­ty,” said Ms Brin­cat, whose con­tem­po­rary art ranges from video and per­for­mance to sculp­ture and installation.

So when she was com­mis­sioned to devise a work which would cre­ate com­mu­ni­ty around the new Talla­wong Metro Sta­tion in Sydney’s north west, she decid­ed rather than a tra­di­tion­al sculp­ture, to take a leaf out of her grand­par­ents’ book and cre­ate a liv­ing sculp­ture of edi­ble plants. Known as The Plant Library, it will be open adja­cent to the sta­tion at the end of the new train line from Sep­tem­ber 21 to Octo­ber 2 and com­muters will be encour­aged to share their sto­ries in exchange for a seedling.

Like the dri­ver­less trains that now reg­u­lar­ly ply the Metro North­west rail line from Epping to Rouse Hill, many of the new train stops are still devoid of indi­vid­ual per­son­al­i­ties. The art­work, com­mis­sioned by the North­west Places Pro­gram, a part­ner­ship between Land­com and Syd­ney Metro which will see up to 11,000 new homes built over the next 10 years between Epping and Talla­wong sta­tions, is an attempt to change that.

I found in the com­mu­ni­ty at The Ponds and Talla­wong a thirst for want­i­ng to share and get to know their neigh­bours, and what bet­ter way to get to know each oth­er than a seed swap,” she said.

Work­ing with the locals, Ms Brin­cat has cre­at­ed a pair of sculp­tur­al green­hous­es which cat­a­logue the diverse range of edi­ble plants, both indige­nous and immi­grant, grown on the Cum­ber­land Plains. A range of com­mu­ni­ty events such as back­yard con­ver­sa­tions and pick­ling ses­sions run by Marrickville’s Cor­ner­smith café, has brought the com­mu­ni­ty out of their new homes in places like The Ponds, and get­ting dirt under their fin­ger nails. The art project cum com­mu­ni­ty gar­den, has been organ­ised through the Muse­um of Con­tem­po­rary Art’s C3West pro­gram, which brings con­tem­po­rary art to Sydney’s west.

This project has brought togeth­er a diverse range of peo­ple, from sixth gen­er­a­tion seed saver, Annette Jones of Schofields and her vast array of indige­nous plants from the local Darug peo­ple includ­ing a Murnong yam, to Sandeep Pandir, an Indi­an immi­grant with a thriv­ing crop of radish­es in his veg­ie patch. Oth­er local com­mu­ni­ty gar­den­ers, plant enthu­si­asts and experts, have helped gath­er a range of plants from nas­tur­tiums to native figs and gin­ger, elder­ber­ry, lil­li pil­li, paw, paw and red leaf sorrel.

These green­hous­es are a way to speak to the local com­mu­ni­ty, a place to exchange sto­ries about, and expe­ri­ences of, local plants and ones that have been intro­duced to the region. Plants you can eat and use ona day-to-day basis,” Ms Brin­cat said. Plants that are effec­tive­ly immi­grants that Aus­tralia has absorbed into its cul­ture. Peo­ple care more for a place if they have a con­nec­tion with it.”“These green­hous­es are a way to speak to the local com­mu­ni­ty, a place to exchange sto­ries about, and expe­ri­ences of, local plants and ones that have been intro­duced to the region. Plants you can eat and use ona day-to-day basis,” Ms Brin­cat said. Plants that are effec­tive­ly immi­grants that Aus­tralia has absorbed into its cul­ture. Peo­ple care more for a place if they have a con­nec­tion with it.”

smh​.com​.au

Filter

Lau­ren Brin­cat: Con­ver­sa­tions on Shad­ow Architecture’

Lau­ren Brin­cat is includ­ed in Con­ver­sa­tions on Shad­ow Archi­tec­ture, a project curat­ed by Ineke Dane […]

Read More

Shaun Glad­well: 2022 Ade­laide Bien­ni­al of Aus­tralian Art: Free/​State

Shaun Glad­well has been select­ed along with 25 lead­ing Aus­tralian con­tem­po­rary artists to participate […]

Read More

Cal­lum Mor­ton & Mar­co Fusina­to: All That Was Sol­id Melts’ at Auck­land Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

All That Was Sol­id Melts takes us on a jour­ney from iso­la­tion through the multiple […]

Read More

Daniel Von Sturmer: Time in Mate­r­i­al (RGB)’ at The Cen­tre for Pro­jec­tion Art, Colling­wood Yards

Daniel Von Sturmer’s sin­gle chan­nel video work Time in Mate­r­i­al (RGB), 2019 is presented […]

Read More

Angel­i­ca Mesi­ti: Choose Hap­pi­ness’ Mur­ray Art Muse­um Albury

Hap­pi­ness is by its very nature ephemer­al. Some­times it is a state that we might […]

Read More

GABRIEL­LA MANGANO & SIL­VANA MANGANO: The Oth­er Por­trait, curat­ed by Julie Rrap and Cher­ine Fahd at SCA Gallery

The Oth­er Por­trait brings togeth­er work by artists who have an estab­lished rela­tion­ship to […]

Read More

David Noo­nan: Stage­craft’ cat­a­logue wins MAP­DA 2021 award for Best Small Exhi­bi­tion Catalogue

David Noo­nan: Stage­craft, designed by Ben Cox and pub­lished on the occa­sion of the […]

Read More

Daniel Crooks and Angel­i­ca Mesi­ti: A Sto­ry for the Future’ MAXXI’s First Decade, Fon­dazione MAXXI, Rome, Italy

On the occa­sion of its tenth anniver­sary, MAXXI presents an exhi­bi­tion that has been […]

Read More

Angel­i­ca Mesi­ti: The Musi­cal Brain’ The High Line, New York

Angel­i­ca Mesi­ti is one of four artists includ­ed in The Musi­cal Brain, a video exhibition […]

Read More

Emi­ly Floyd: Edu­ca­tion: Alter­na­tives and the Academy

Edu­ca­tion: Alter­na­tives and The Acad­e­mySpeak­ers: Emi­ly Floyd and Gridthiya Gawee­wong Edu­ca­tion: Alter­na­tives and The […]

Read More

Mar­co Fusina­to: Ter­mi­nal Gui­tar’, Dark Mofo

Ter­mi­nal Gui­tar, Dark Mofo 2021 Mar­co Fusina­to + Mys­tic Eyes (Lisa MacK­in­ney) + Bruce Russell […]

Read More

Amri­ta Hepi: OUT­SIDE INHOT­LINE LAUNCHED

In the lead up to the 2021 Fre­man­tle Bien­nale, Amri­ta Hepi launched an international […]

Read More

John Nixon, Stephen Bram & Rose Nolan, Cook­ing with John’ curat­ed by Amalia Lin­do & Jacque­line Stojanović

Hay­dens, Mel­bourne 10 — 12 More­land Road Brunswick East, 3057 Exhi­bi­tion open­ing: 22 May from  […]

Read More

Emi­ly Floyd, Louisa Bufarde­ci & Su san Cohn, We Change the World’ The Ian Pot­ter Cen­tre: NGV Aus­tralia, Lev­el 3

Works by Emi­ly Floyd, Louisa Bufarde­ci & Su san Cohn will be on dis­play as […]

Read More

Angel­i­ca Mesi­ti: Borås Art Biennial

Deep lis­ten­ing for long­ingBorås Art Bien­ni­al 2021May 29 – Sep­tem­ber 262021 The 2021 edition […]

Read More

Emi­ly Floyd, OPEN SPACE!’, George Street, Sydney

A large scale new pub­lic art­work by Emi­ly Floyd has been unveiled in Sydney’s […]

Read More

John Nixon: profile

Iter­a­tions: John Nixon Not far from where St Kil­da beach forms a firm line against the […]

Read More

Lau­ren Brin­cat, Louisa Bufarde­ci & Daniel Crooks, Tar­raWar­ra Bien­ni­al 2021: Slow Mov­ing Waters’

Lau­ren Brin­cat, Louisa Bufarde­ci & Daniel Crooks have each been com­mis­sioned to cre­ate new work […]

Read More

DIS­CUS­SION: Shaun Glad­well & Dr. Sean Lowry

Dr Sean Lowry, Head of Crit­i­cal and The­o­ret­i­cal Stud­ies, Vic­to­ri­an Col­lege of the Arts […]

Read More

Three exhi­bi­tions to see in New York this weekend

Daniel Crooks: the Sub­tle Knife­Un­til 31 Jan­u­ary in Times Square, Man­hat­tan As the residual […]

Read More

More Than 40 Inter­na­tion­al Gal­leries Are Col­lab­o­rat­ing on a New Auc­tion-Style Sales Plat­form Cham­pi­oning Art From the Glob­al South

Dozens of gal­leries have come togeth­er to take part in an inno­v­a­tive sale and […]

Read More

New gallery plat­form South South launch­es to pro­mote art from out­side the dom­i­nant US-Europe axis

We talk a lot, in the US-Euro­­pean focused art world, about increas­ing the promi­nence of […]

Read More

Daniel Crooks: Asia Soci­ety Tri­en­ni­al, New York

The inau­gur­al Asia Soci­ety Tri­en­ni­al opens today 27 Octo­ber, 2020 in New York City, and […]

Read More

John Nixon Test­ed the Vital­i­ty of Geo­met­ric Abstraction

“… Nixon was not only an artist but a cura­tor, musi­cian, gal­lerist, small-press pub­lish­er and […]

Read More