About the Exhibition - In Natasha’s Own Words
My practice is to not only understand the scientific properties of plants but to understand the human and global stories connected to the plant. In modern society, we have a vast amount of information and knowledge at our fingertips but rarely do we know the plants around us. During my Masters, I discovered the term plant blindness, coined by botanist James Wandersee and Elizabeth Schusster in 1998, which refers to the “cognitive bias in which we struggle to recognize and appreciate the value and diversity of flora over zoological forms especially in prestige species.”
In my art practice, I explore the artist’s role in collecting and recording flora while uncovering the stories about biodiversity, global trade, and extinction. My short films “1850” and “The Love of Plants” examine how the current classification of plants, and their taxonomy as we know it, is inherently linked to the acquisition of botanical collections. Artists travel with scientists collecting evidence of new-found flora while recording specimens on their travels and their returns.
Plants have been traded, sold and moved across the globe, their travels mimicking the migration of people throughout time. Unfortunately, with this movement and the colonizing of land, whole ecosystems have been disrupted. This research informed the development of the work for “Gazing the Hothouse” as a way to explore ways to minimize the harm to ecosystems while assisting the public to develop an appreciation for the plants that inhabit them.