exhibitions

be brave art space avalon

january 3 - january 13

australian plantbank | november 1 - november 30

The study and representation of Australian native plants is a central subject for Julie Hickson. Through her work these forms are evolving into abstracted, stylised designs.

 

Through research of Australian botanic forms, Julie has become increasingly interested in the morphology of these plants. From seed, to plant, to bud, to flower and pod - this progression always captivates and tells a story about the plant and the land from which it comes.

 

This interest led her to The Australian Botanic Garden at Mt Annan. Having a residency at the Australian PlantBank this year has allowed Julie to survey these forms on another level - quite literally. Studying seed pods and other plant material under the microscope and through the x-ray reveals a new perspective.

 

Having this opportunity has been an education - and reinforced the awareness that the plant diversity on this continent is vast and unique in the world - while encroaching development has done so much in our short tenure to threaten this.

 

The new work centres around the patterns, lines and structures within the plant forms - getting closer and surveying the hidden landscapes within. The deeper one goes the more complex and abstract they become. It is as if the artist is coaxing the plants to give up their secrets.

 

The exhibition is at the Australian PlantBank, Mt Annan Botanic Gardens, Narellan Rd Mount Annan. More information about the gardens here

 

new work | Julie Hickson

Odyssey | Macadamia

acrylic on canvas

122 x 122cm

POA

Inception | Alloxylon ammeum

acrylic and ink on canvas

101 x 101cm

POA

Also known as the Queensland Tree Waratah, this beauty is a threatened species in its natural habitat in Queensland’s

tropical rainforests. Eastern Australia ranks in the top 10 of the world’s major

deforestation fronts – the only one in a developed nation. Most of the clearing is happening in Queensland, and it is even

now accelerating in drier forests like ‘brigalow belt’ and ‘mulga’.

With the decimation of Queensland and Northern NSW rainforests, the natural habitat of all four species of macadamia has been greatly reduced and all are now listed as vulnerable. The remaining wild macadamia trees are at risk of extinction - with around only 20% remaining in patches of rainforest in these areas. There is ongoing research into methods to conserve the genus here at the Australian PlantBank.

The x-ray shows the seed (known to most as the edible nut) as a solid pale mass within a woody shell which tells us the seed has the potential to germinate.

Brave | Brachychiton bidwillii

acrylic on canvas

76 x 76cm

POA

Exhale | Doryanthes palmeri

acrylic on canvas

137 x 86cm

POA

The giant spear lily is the lesser known species in the Doryanthes genus which also contains the gymea lily (Doryanthes excelsa). The giant spear lily is listed as vulnerable under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act. It has a large red ower on the stalk which can reach up to 5 metres long and tips sideways under the weight of the inorescences. The fruit

in the painting from this x-ray show the potentially viable seed in white inside capsules at varying stages of opening.

Also known at the little kurrajong - Brachychiton bidwilli is found in tropical eastern Australia. The Brachychiton classication also contains the famous Illawarra ame tree and bottle trees. The distinctive follicle of this tree is a large leathery casing with yellow seeds held in a papery brown wrapping.

Sustain | Eucalyptus crebra

acrylic on canvas

51 x 112cm

POA

Eucalyptus crebra, or narrow-leaved ironbark, is a key canopy species in the Cumberland Plain Woodlands which is classied as an endangered ecological community. The Cumberland Plain has an area of roughly 2,750 square kilometres & extends from 10 kms north of Windsor in the north, to Picton in the south; and from the Nepean-Hawkesbury River in the west almost to Sydney City's Inner West in the east. Much of the Sydney metropolitan area is located on the Plain. The tiny ower of Eucalyptus crebra creates an even smaller seed capsule which, magnied under x-ray reveals the internal structures which inspired this painting.

Inhabit | Angophora costata

acrylic on canvas

51 x 112cm

POA

The Sydney red gum is related to Eucalyptus but sits within the

genus Angophora. The ridged fruit or gum nuts are the feature of this x-ray inspired painting in the style of a Japanese blossom watercolour. These large twisted trees are found in elevated and coastal areas in Sydney and surround the artist’s garden on the ridge above Bungan Beach in the northern beaches of Sydney.

Attend | Wollemia nobilis

acrylic on canvas

76 x 122cm

POA

The Wollemi Pine or Wollemia nobilis was only known from fossil records until a small population was found in a gorge 150km north west of Sydney in 1995. The Australian PlantBank is the principal research centre for this amazing prehistoric tree where maintenance of a clonal collection and conservation research are ongoing. The female strobilus (cone) is featured in this painting from x-ray. The indigenous word Wollemi means ‘look around you - and watch out!’ which says as much about the sudden gorges in the area now known as Wollemi National Park, but also eerily prophetic of the discovery of this botanic wonder.

Endure | Corymbia ficifolia

acrylic on canvas

diptych 51 x 91cm

POA

This species of owering gum from Western Australia is often grafted onto Corymbia maculata to help it survive in the richer and more clay driven soils further to the East. Bloodwoods, ghost gums and spotted gums were transferred in the mid 1990s from the genus Eucalyptus to Corymbia. Under the x-ray the fruit or ‘gum nuts’ contain the detail explored in this painting.

new work | pod & pod by Julie Hickson

banksia integrifolia

acrylic on canvas 2/25

further commissions available

137 x 101cm

$2600

banksia blechnifolia

acrylic on canvas 2/25

further commissions available

62 x 122cm

$1650

Pimelea spicata | Spiked Rice Flower

acrylic on canvas 2/25

further commissions available

46 x 46cm

$550

Swainsona formosa | Sturt’s Desert Pea

acrylic on canvas 2/25

further commissions available

46 x 46cm

$550

new archival prints | the 'exposure' series

Corymbia ficifolia

Limited edition archival print

440 x 610mm

POA

Stenocarpus sinuatus

Limited edition archival print

440 x 610mm

POA

Banksia integrifolia

Limited edition archival print

440 x 610mm

POA

Wollemia nobilis

Limited edition archival print

440 x 610mm

POA

australian plantbank

november 1 - november 30