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BOTANICA exhibition & public programme

July 15 2002

BOTANICA exhibition & public programme
13 July – 31 August 2002

The worlds of science and the visual arts are drawn together in an exhibition called Botanica, opening this week at the Gus Fisher Gallery.

An Adam Art Gallery exhibition curated by Zara Stanhope, Botanica draws extensively from New Zealand and Australasian public and private collections of historical and contemporary scientific botanical documents, and visual arts works. It has been redeveloped for Auckland, and includes new examples from artists in the Auckland region.

Ms Stanhope says botany has evolved not only as a biological science but also as a subject and stimulus for visual artists.

“Contemporary artists engage with flora in a multitude of ways. Botanica indicates the diverse approaches to recording, interpreting and imagining plant life. Some works celebrate botany’s form and function, while others pay homage to early scientific traditions,” she says.

Botanica reveals artists’ concerns about the control and alteration of nature, social and cultural values, or the potential of botanical subjects to evoke a spiritual response.

“The exhibition crosses boundaries between biological discourse and creative production, and emphasises the importance of both science and art to our understanding of our environment and culture.”

The exhibition includes specimens collected by Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, scientists on James Cook’s Endeavour, along with reproductions of plants depicted by the ship’s artist Sydney Parkinson. It also features early colonial documentation of New Zealand plants, indicating the level of interest in the newly seen species, as well as more contemporary responses to botanical subject matter, including gigantic swaying sunflower sculptures, glass sculptures, and jewellery.

The Gus Fisher Gallery is open weekdays 10-5pm, Saturdays 10-3pm, closed Sundays and public holidays.
Admission to the Gallery is free.


Botanica Public Programme

Behind the Scenes: A Tour of the Auckland Museum Herbarium
with Ewen Cameron, Curator of Botany, on Wednesday 24 July 2002 from 1- 2pm. No charge.
Behind the Scenes Tour of Botany Department Herbarium, Auckland Museum where over 300,000 pressed plant specimens, original botanical art, and other botanical gems are held. A range of items will be shown, including; an extinct NZ plant specimen, illustrations by Fanny Osborne including one of the extinct NZ mistletoe, a NZ plant specimen collected by Banks & Solander in 1769, a new tree discovered in northland last year, and many other botanical gems.Pre-enrollment through CCE is essential as numbers are limited

Classes in Botanical Illustration
with Christine Hellyer at The Wintergardens, Auckland Domain (Tea Kiosk Entry). Saturday 3 August, 9am- 1pm. Cost $40. Pre- enrollment through CCE is essential as numbers are limited. Course # G2.022

Not so Secret Garden: An Illustrated talk by Rod Barnett
School of Landscape and Plant Science, Unitec.
The garden is behind the wall, over the fence, an isolated investment in forces and flows that are unaffected by the conditions of the city. Or is it? This idea is explored through an exploration of garden design in Auckland as an art form in the last thirty years of the twentieth century.
Tuesday 20 August: 6:30- 7:30pm at The Kenneth Myers Centre, 74 Shortland Street Room 306
Pre- enrolment through CCE is required as numbers are limited. FREE

The Gardens of Old Government House
A tour of the historical and recent plantings at Old Government House gardens with The University’s head gardener, Tony Palmer, on Wednesday 28 August at 10 am. FREE. (Rain check option on Friday 30 August at 10 am.) No pre-bookings. Meet at the University Grounds Offices - opposite Alumni House, near Old Government House lawn.


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