Felicity Watson checks out some of the botanical art from the
Felicity Watson checks out some of the botanical art from the "Replant" exhibition at the Grafton Regional Gallery. JoJo Newby

Botanic art branches out

THE new and the old of botanic art will be on show from Wednesday when the Grafton Art Gallery hosts a touring exhibition called Replant.

The new exhibition showcases works from six female Australian artists from diverse cultural backgrounds who got together to explore the unique plants of Northern Australia in 2006, Grafton Art Gallery director Jude McBean said.

The artists met traditional custodians of the Daly River area who shared their plant knowledge and they also collaborated with an ethnobotanist before moving to Darwin, where they worked with master printmaker Basil Hall.

The print exhibition presents intricate etchings that explore the unique characteristics of native plants, Ms McBean said.

The works continue a powerful historic theme in art of botanical reproduction.

The touring exhibition was also an opportunity for the Grafton Gallery to exhibit some of its own collection of works that are based on botanic themes.

The gallery’s Botanical Art exhibition will complement Replant and will include some of the gallery’s most beautiful old works, including exhibits from the O’Grady sisters painted in the 1930s.

It will also include contemporary artists such as Ken Done, Ms McBean said.

Cultural sensitivity and social awareness are key elements of Replant.

The gathering of the six female artists reflects the traditional role of women as gatherers of food and holders of knowledge and the rise of printmaking as a significant medium for Indigenous artists.

The works continue a powerful historic theme in art of botanical reproduction.



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