A Soil Biome Immersion seeks to enable an immersion of oneself into the biodiverse and complex realm that is soil through spoken word, sound, visual cues, lighting and tactile experience.
A Soil Biome Immersion explores ones ecological ontology in relation to soil as a ‘supplement’ that cycles nutrients temporally throughout the planet and hence binds all organisms to be ancestral remnants of each other.
With a strong basis within the sciences, ecological processes within the soil biome are addressed as a tool to expand ones ecological imagination and understand the important role soil plays in the ecosphere. This perspective enables an understanding of molecules that once resided within the primordial soup becoming part of ones self.
“I will never look at soil the same way again” Dr Alex Stohl
Performance Climates Conference, Melbourne Uni 2016
Fitzroy High School, Melbourne 2017
William Angliss Institute, Melbourne Knowledge Week 2018
Soil Biome Immersion
PSI16# Melbourne University
Sites of Reverence : Shrines of Remembrance
These works are site specific responding to place and its story.
Sites of Reverance
These works either honour an ecosystem/ place for its intrinsic value as earthly collaborator, revering these areas opens up opportunities for discussions into their beauty, processes, mechanics. These areas are usually areas in a state of pristineness, they have high ecological activity and functioning, representing biodiversity and strong mechanistic affects to the global sphere...eg. old growth forests
Shrines of Remembrance
These works honour a degraded landscape, in some cases a decimated landscape. These works create an opportunity to sit in the space in reflection to what has been lost. eg a clearfell
Thus far there have been SOR works made within the ancient rainforests:
End of the Road (2015) is an in situ installation made in collaboration with Patrick Belford (of Inner City Nature). Placed within the heartlands of the Tarkine gondwanan landscapes of Tasmania, End of the Road blocks the end of a road in a remnant rainforest logging road. Made from ropes surrendered from the southern oceans, and destroyed forest residue from the roading, this blockade stands in reverence as an alter to the ancients. Erected in 2015, it stood in quiet defiance to the logging of the space, half alter, half blockade till the tragic demise of this mixed species forest in 2017. This project was in coordination with Tarkine In Motion, a large scale residency for artists within the Tarkine.
Tarkine Teahouse 2017
Built by Patrick Belford, this simple teahouse uses found materials inside an ancient myrtle forest. This place was next to the Savage River and has been logged and roaded in the early 1900's, though, this massive myrtle trees have coppiced and become beautiful giant trees of these memories. This teahouse still stands strong on the walking track between Corinna and Mt. Donaldson, becoming its own entity, a site for reverance and shrine of remembrance.
Tarkine Teahouse 2018
Savage River, next to Tarkine Teahouse
Forest: Form: Found
Forest : Form : Found: is an opportunity to learn about the forest, to find a form to be with forest and to experience moments of deep interconnection.
Forest: provides a guided ecological experience through the rainforest ecosystem, exploring the evolution of rainforest systems and connections under ground between fungi, trees and soil as well as reflecting on the threats in a warming climate.
Form: is an opportunity to be with the forest, through sitting within a contemporary tea rite. A tea rite with ancient roots in the Dao. Sitting within Form cultivates stillness enabling awareness to land and to expand.
Found:speaks to our sensory perception of both ourselves, the environment and the ceremony we are sitting in, providing an experience of being simultaneously separate from, and yet always connected to the external world. Utilising tea and ecological thought as an avatar for insight, so that we may see a glimpse of the forests, our own bare hearts and their entwined destiny.
Forest: Form: Found
This teahouse space has a roof of treeferns and is located in Toolangi, Victoria. This small remnant rainforest system is situated amongst a mosaic of clearfells and other threatened mountain ash forests. This work is a Site of Reverence and an opportunity to engage with the forests needing protection in the Central Highlands of Victoria.
Forest: Form: Found
Forest: Form: Found
Watercolour Collaborations with the River
Symbiosis: the interaction of two or more organisms.
The Symbiosis Salon is an on growing body of work that explores relationships within the environment. These works on paper explore the intricate beauty and companionship of mutualism found within the environment. Mutualistic relationships within ecological science is an emerging field of diverse and abundant interaction.
Using art to explore ecology
A symbiosis of art and science has the potential not only to activate, but also to embellish one’s ecological imagination as an exploration of self as being (and not simply a being) in the environment. This process necessarily captures much of what counts as embodied learning (Wason- Ellam 2010). Since the body, according to Deleuze, is not simply the locus of sensory perception but also the capacity to affect and be affected, embodiment provokes a learner’s identification of the learner’s aesthetic and noemenal surroundings with an affective.
Tayatea: The Giant Freshwater Crayfish.
The Tasmanian giant freshwater crayfish (Astacopsis gouldi) is the largest freshwater invertebrate in the world. The species is only found in the rivers in northern Tasmania. It is listed as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List due to overfishing and habitat degradation. The tayatea requires pristine environments to survive without erosion or silted rivers.
The diet of the freshwater crayfish varies with age, but predominantly consists of decaying wood, leaves and their associated microbes. They may also eat small fish, insects, rotting animal flesh and other microbial detritus when available. A. gouldi is very long-lived, surviving for up to 60 years. It has previously been reported to attain weights of up to 6 kilograms and measure over 80 centimetres long; however, in recent years the majority of larger specimens are 2–3 kilograms. When fully mature the species has no natural predators due to its large size, while smaller individuals can be prey of platypus, riverblackfish and rakali.
The dispersal and migratory patterns of A. gouldi are largely unknown, but they are recorded to be most active during summer and autumn when water temperatures are higher, they are also known to walk over land. Tasmanian giant freshwater crayfish have extremely slow maturation rates, with females reaching sexual maturity at approximately 14 years of age, a weight of 550 grams and a carapace length of 120 millimetres. Males are thought to reach maturity more quickly at around 9 years, 300 grams and 76 millimetres carapace length.
Females mate and spawn once every two years in autumn after a summer moult, producing 224–1300 eggs proportional to its size. Gestation of the eggs takes about nine months, with females carrying the eggs on their tail through winter. After hatching in mid-summer, the hatchlings of about 6 millimetres attach to the female's swimming legs and will remain with the mother until a few months later in autumn. A long reproductive process means that females spend much of their life attached to their eggs and hatchlings.
Pollination was produced as part of the Laughing Waters Residency, in 2011. It explores mutually symbiotic relationships in the region, between invertebrates and flowering plants. It captures the complicated and complex plethora of diversity that is required to maintain the health of an ecosystem, both in floral and faunal composition. Pollination is a work on paper, using the mediums of watercolour, ink and resin to explore this idea. The resin was used as a way to portray the succulence and moist environment within the reproductive organs of a flower. Through a microscope, one is able to understand the important role of the flower anatomy to protect the precious reproductive structures that enable movement of microscopic sex cells into their final resting place of a zygote.
This image is a detail of the work which is 270 x 70 cm.
Kept in private collection.
Bryophytic Relations (COUPE B0102A)
Bryophytic Relations looks at the complex and mutualistic relationships between moss and lichens and their forest ecosystems homes. This work explores the diversity, niche and complexity contained within the ancient world of bryophytes. Bryophyte diversity is a measure of ecological integrity and thus found in immense quantities within old growth forests. This work is based within the threatened forest systems of the Tarkine, NW Tasmania.
This work is an ongoing project made possible through Tarkine In Motion, a monumental environmental arts event facilitated by the Bob Brown Foundation.
Work in Progress
Tarkine Logging Coupes, Old Growth Forests on the edge of plantation.
The Gaia Evolution Walk
The Gaia Walk, Windgrove is a participatory coastal walk tracing the history of time. The experience encourages each step to represent 50, 000 yrs and enables the participant to walk through the eras of time, beginning at the Precambrian up until the present. The Gaia Walk is an opportunity to comprehend the deep time in which life has evolved through up until the present. This work is in collaboration with master carver, Peter Adams, of Windgrove. Windgrove is an extensively rehabilitated property in Tasmania, home to sculpture trails and restored habitat for wildlife.
Each image in The Gaia Evolution Walk represents 50,000 years - stepping through the eras of time, beginning at the Precambrian era, up until the present - drawing on different elements of evolutionary theory.
These works have been published by Oekologie Studio into the art/ science book, EON. The Story of the Fossils,
A residency at the Rights For Nature tribunal where First Peoples and citizens took the State to court for crimes against nature.
This residency saw the documentation of this momentous event.
As part of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance conference I collaborated with Scale Free Network to facilitate a workshop that was an unfolding, creative process that echoes and embodies an interdependent, symbiotic community. We explored ideas the complexities that is a law based systems inadequate for protection and accountability.
SUPERNATURE is an installation of a living detrital wonderland created for the Festival of Living Art (FOLA), Artshouse, Melbourne.
Using a combination of living plants and detrital bouquets, the Artshouse became a wild wood, a secret garden, a jungle.
SUPERNATURE embraces the premise of a forest as ideas, a cauldron of emotions, a cycling of paradigms, much like a forest, 'eating itself and living forever'...breaking down ideas, contexts and experiences in order to building them into a future of enriched perceptions.
How can love be quantified? Is it just hormones? What are all the different kinds of love? Love for child, love for lover...Are they the same thing? Love. How does it enable evolutionary potential? How does it enable survival?
Aviva Reed, in collaboration with Dr Charlie Brennan and Bede Brennan, compiled extensive social survey results from cognitive mapping into a series of artworks to be used in further collaboration projects with the Jaliigirr Biodiversity Alliance. The Sense of Place artworks aimed to extend the community capacity for collective land management by the wider Jaliigiir Community.
The Sense of Place Project project is a pilot project designed to assist participants in the Jaliigirr Biodiversity Alliance (JBA) to execute connectivity conservation and landscape land management mandates. The aims of the “Connecting Communities and Cultures through Corridors’ project aims to connect landscapes and people and transfer and cultivate a knowledge system based on engagements, involvement and education.
The Symbiogenesis Project
An aesthetic interdisciplinary exploration of ecological synergies in north-eastern Melbourne.
The Symbiogenesis Project is a body of works on paper exploring the ecologically unique synergies around the Yarra River at Laughing Waters in collaboration withP J Kalemba. The body of work was produced during a 3 month residency at Laughing Waters in Melbourne’s North Eastern green wedge.
Taking an inspirational and aesthetic lead from the Renaissance approach to scientific observation and naturalist representations of nature, The Symbiogenisis Project seeked to extend the traditions of taxonomical and botanical illustration. The exhibition expressed the scientifically rooted aesthetic investigation of gathered field data from symbiotic interactions within the geographic bio-region, employing drawing, painting and assemblage to communicate the observed symbiotic relationships.
The work was exhibited within the Melbourne City Library and at the Eltham Community Library.
Pollination Aviva Reed 2011
Symbiosis PJ Kalemba & Aviva Reed 2011
The Symbiogenesis Mural
Place-based Mural Making
A series of workshops were held at Edendale Community Farm within the propagation sheds called ‘Propagating Art’ for local youth in the area. The result was a 12 metre public place - based mural on the ecology of Eltham to be used in the redevelopment of the Eltham Square.
The mural process included exploring local ecology, threatened species, map reading, botanical painting, and large-scale acrylic painting. This work was made possible though the support of Nillumbik Shire Council and Edendale Farm Community Farm, Eltham.
"Land of forgotten memories and abandoned treasures"..
Detrital Wonderland is a world of enchantment, awe and inspiration. It is constructed from detritus and abandoned treasures, an orphanage of entities, Detrital Wonderland includes mini worlds within wardrobe worlds, mini dioramas and mini character installations that remind the viewer of stories, memories and archetypal characters from myths and fairy tales. Detrital Wonderland has been installed at The Village Festival, Melbourne, 2010/2011 and Harvest Festival, Werribee 2012/2013.
Detrital Wonderland is made entirely of recycled and repurposed objects.