Alison Bennett, Vegetal/digital, 2021. Wellington Towers, Naarm/Melbourne.
Image courtesy of Matthew Lynn
garden state festival
240 Wellington Street & Otter Street (Corner Smith Street), Collingwood
Friday 29 April to Sunday 1 May,
from 6:00 PM - MIDNIGHT
The Plant Society and Yarra City Council inaugurated the Garden State Festival in 2022 to celebrate gardening as an art form and to explore the vital role plants play in the art of living. Garden State celebrates the intersection between plants, art, architecture, craft, design, food, ideas, music, and performance, elevating what it means to be a modern gardener. Over three days, the audience is invited to be a part of a ‘gardener’s’ festival, unlike others. As an open-access community festival – the space encourages participation and hosts an exploration of urban ideas around gardening, cultivating new perspectives and ideas on plants. The event fosters conversations, open studio spaces, showcases design, creates ephemeral art, runs plant workshops and far more.
Centre for Projection Art has curated the works of artists Alison Bennett and Kate Beynon in collaboration with Rali Beynon and Michael Pablo as part of the 2022 Garden State Festival. Both artists' works speak of the impact of botanicals in their practice uniquely from their individual lived experiences.
Alison Bennett, Vegetal/digital, 2021
Artist Alison Bennett considers Australian native flowers as celestial encounters. Slowly rotating 3D point-clouds of floral forms coalesce and dissolve. Rendered as point-cloud models, foliage structures resonate as vibrant matter, testing the affordances of the digital image as a field of thinking. Arising out of the heightened sensory perceptions of extended lock-down, this creative investigation began through contemplation of flowering street-trees. Through 262 days of lock-down, residents of Melbourne retreated to the hyper-local, often reinforced by a 5-kilometre travel bubble and a one-hour daily time limit outdoors. The sublime ephemeral springtime flowers of street-trees were amplified by the extreme sensory and social constraints of social distancing. Drawing us into a suspended moment of slow encounter, we attuned to the contained glowing pulse of plants.
Kate Beynon, Rali Beynon and Michael Pablo, Visions, 2022
Inspired by a supernatural fairy tale, Visions explores ideas of dream imagery and stories blurred via a cyclical non-linear narrative. Through an experimental mix of painting, 2D and digital animation, Visions features botanical elements and colourful characters as apparitions in a surreal and shifting nocturnal space.
Swirling peonies alternate with thriving lotus blooms. Hybrid dancing spirits are imagined as protective guardians, including the Lotus Monkey with lotus petal face, and Tudao Dog inspired by the artist's family’s beloved rescue Staffy-cross. In contrasting calm, the multi-limbed Lotus Goddesslevitates amidst atmospheric skies. A contemporary version of the Goddess of Mercy Guanyin, she reaches out to comfort those in need; lotus plant motifs a sign of healing and renewal.
Collective movement and morphing of these botanical fantastic beings represents the potential for transformation, growth and a sense of hope.
Visions is an intergenerational collaboration between Kate Beynon, Michael Pablo and emerging artist/animator and son Rali Beynon.
The artists acknowledge and pay respects to the traditional owners and elders, past present and emerging of Wurundjeri Kulin Country, and in solidarity to all First Nations People worldwide.
Artistic director and Curator: Priya Namana
Operations Manager: Catriona Black-Dinham
Technical Manager: Jay Tettamanti & Olaf Meyer
Technical Assitant: Eric Jong
Marketing & Communications: Teagan Ramsay
Documentation: Matthew Lynn