Celebrate the work of BE Research Associate and PhD candidate Phillippa Carnemolla at upcoming exhibition.

Exhibition dates: 7 March - 30 May 2013 at the Fernery and Garden Shop, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney.

An exquisite new art exhibition exploring the universality of life and the interdependence of plants and animals; ‘Botanical Songforms’ is the work of Phillippa Carnemolla, 2012 Artist in Residence at the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney.

Intertwining the beauty of nature with rich layers of meaning, ‘Botanical Songforms’ will open at the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney from 7th March until 30th May 2013. ‘The Breathing Conifer’, a large kinetic sculpture, will hang in the Fernery, and other works including jewellery and ceramicware, will be on exhibition in the Garden shop.

During her year of residency, Phillippa has explored commonalities between organic structures - the universality of life that unites us all. Fascinated by the complex relationships and interdependence of plants and animals within the Garden, she has investigated the most basic geometries of life through the examination of plants, pollen, bees and birds.

Phililppa has designed sculpture and specialist jewellery pieces based on the geometry of nature, including fine jewellery and ceramics. She has also worked with master wood turner, Graham Tilly, to produce six unique timber and ceramic vessels made from a London plane tree Platinus x hispanica ‘Acerifolia’  felled on the site of the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney in 2012.

“The exhibition will include a full range of jewellery that I’ve created with flora and fauna as my inspiration.  In some cases I’ve replaced leaves with feathers and ferns with wings,” said Ms Carnemolla.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is ‘The Breathing Confier’ – a large hanging kinetic sculpture in the form of a cone, comprising over a hundred copper leaves. The cone gently expands and contracts, giving the effect of a gently pulsating heart. 

“Reminiscent of plant, seed, insect and heart - this sculpture comments on the universality of life, the interdependence of plant and animal and the beauty in natural rhythm,” she said.

‘The Breathing Confier’ was conceived as a community arts project . The sculpture, based on the geometry of cycads and conifers, was developed in collaboration with children living with varying degrees of disabilities and young people with challenges in their lives.

Phillippa Carnemolla merges skills from two disciplines – one as an artist, the other as an industrial designer researching and designing environments that enable and empower people with disabilities.

Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Deputy Executive Director Dr Brett Summerell said ‘Botanical Songforms’ is a unique opportunity to draw attention to celebrating diversity in all forms.

“I commend Ms Carnemolla for affording young people this rare opportunity to contribute to the project, encouraging community participation and social connectedness while they explore their own creativity,” Dr Brett Summerell said.

Phillippa worked closely with groups from the Eastern Respite & Recreation and the Come In Youth Resource Centre as well as local, creatively-driven young people currently being mentored by St.Francis Social Services supported by the Freehills Foundation. The groups visited the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, experienced the textures and patterns of plants in the Fernery, then coloured copper leaves that Phillippa has used to build the ‘Breathing Conifer’.

A collection of jewellery that includes the favourite quotes of the participating children and young people will make up another key part of the ‘Botanical Songforms’ exhibition called the ‘Inspiration Project’.

“For the ‘Inspiration Project’, I’ve asked each participant to think of a quote that inspires them, “Ms Carnemolla said.

“I hope to weave a wise narrative of how we live, what drives us and how to live our lives to the fullest each day despite daily challenges. A quote from each child was etched onto a piece of copper for them to colour and these have been made into jewellery to be worn and to be exhibited,” she said.

The ‘Botanical Songform’ exhibition has been generously supported by the artist, Phillippa Carnemolla, Freehills Foundation, PLC Sydney and the City of Sydney.  Throughout her exhibition, Phillippa will donate proceeds from sales of the quotation pendants to Eastern Respite and Recreation and the Come in Youth Centre.

Article based on media release issued by Royal Botanical Gardens and Domain Trust.