Dr Prudence Gibson

Dr Prudence Gibson

Arts,Design & Architecture
iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research

Dr Prudence Gibson is sole author of The Plant Thieves (NewSouth Publishing 2023), The Plant Contract (Brill 2018) and The Pharmacy of Plants: Janet Laurence (NewSouth Publishing 2015) in addition to trade books, essays and peer-review papers. All her work is informed by theoretical concepts of critical plant studies, environmental aesthetics, eco-feminism and post-human theory. Her work extends to scripting and producing video art, narrative projects and curatorial approaches to plants inspired by new aesthetics and new plant science.  She is Lead CI on the 2020-24 ARC Linkage grant Exploring the cultural value of Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens Herbarium collection using an environmental aesthetic. In this role she has commissioned artists, poets, sound designers and micro-fiction writers to collaborate with her and with expert scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, in order to revalue their collections.

Gibson's own practice weaves fictional elements and narrative threads into her scholarly publications. She is also a producer of NTROs and is part of a team commissioned by City of Sydney to create a Barlow Street Banksia Forest in Haymarket. Her latest book The Plant Thieves reveals the stories of the plants and people connected to the Herbarium, Mt Annan, Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens. The narrative focuses on the herbarium's specimens and botanists. She has been invited as a keynote speaker to a number of events and symposia most recently the Potsdam Film University 2021 Fabulation symposium, the Mind of Plants Symposium 2021 and the Being with Plants 2021 conference. She has been invited to present as part of The Conversation's partnership with the State Library of Queensland Live panel discussion "Once Upon a Plant." She collaborates with scholars at York University (Canada) and Kew Gardens (London). She is a member of the deep south chapter of  the plant studies network, Working With Plants in the Anthropocene.




2020-3                 Lead Chief Investigator ARC Linkage LP190100069 $296, 000

2019                 UNSW Art and Design Dean’s Award for best scholarly single author book – The Plant Contract, Brill.

2019                 UNSW Art and Design Faculty Research Grant $9, 465   

2018                 UNSW Art and Design Faculty Research Grant $10,500

2017                 UNSW Art and Design Faculty Research Grant $1,800

2015                 UNSW School of Arts and Media School Research Grant $5000 for Janet Laurence monograph New South Publishing.

2014                 Australia Council New Work grant (Visual Arts Board)  $20 000 to write a book on ‘Plant sentience, bio-art and aesthetics of cure.’

2014                 Dean’s Student Leadership Award – Research, FASS, UNSW

2013                 Dean’s Student Leadership Award – Creative and Performing Arts, FASS, UNSW.                             

2011                 Full-time post-graduate scholarship APA UNSW for PhD in writing,   $24 000 per annum for three years.

2011                 International Independent Publishers (silver) Award for category of essay/creative non fiction for the book The Rapture of Death.

2009                 Australia Council New Work grant (Visual Arts Board) $10 000 to write a book, The Rapture of Death.

Gibson is Lead Chief Investigator on the ARC Linkage project 2020-23, entitled Exploring the cultural value of Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens Herbarium collection using an environmental aesthetic $296 000.Her research team includes Brett Summerell, chief botanist Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, and Sophie O'Brien CEO of Bundanon Trust, UNSW's Sigi Jottkandt and Melbourne University's Professor Marie Sierra.
She is also a key member of the Dirt Witches eco-activist group that creates artworks and urban greening projects to raise awareness for changes to biodiversity and plant extinctions.
She collaborates with botanists, horticulturists, community greening staff and herbarium managers, and works to deepen connections (and outputs) with her network of poets, artists, writers and film-makers.