Double Convex

Seventh Gallery

25 October – 9 November 2018

The term for a photographic lens comes from the latin lens culinaris meaning lentil. Its usage equates the form of a double convex lens to that of a lentil. A lens which focuses light, projects, and magnifies is considered truthful, despite the inevitable distortions it causes. Lenses, in the form of microscopes, telescopes and high speed cameras, enable the observations on which scientific theory is built. That which is objective is actually edible, biological, vegetable.

Dried lentils are hung on strings in formations which resemble the optical structure of lenses. Others are sprouting under large magnifying lenses. The tiny lenses of a phone selfie camera are suspended alongside the dried lentils.

Double Convex investigates what the lentil plant knows of photographic representation, of lens based culture and of CCTV surveillance systems. It explores how this knowledge can be used to understand our image saturated social media cultures and re–evaluate lens based representation.

Tapping In

Bus Projects

29 November – 23 December 2017

Rubber is collected from the garden and used to recreate products and consumables: bike tyre, hot water bottle, sneaker sole, ‘eraser’. The intimacy of these objects underscores a personal responsibility for consumption and the political and environmental problems of globalised industries. In the gallery context the work asks how artistic practices are implicated in environmental exploitation and how they could be reconfigured in a sustainable and renewable way.

The process of producing rubber involves ‘drawing’ latex from the bark of the rubber tree. Latex functions as a medium for knowledge. In that the technologies and inventions that come from it are contained within latex itself. The tree is an argument for the function of plants as sustainable data centres and ecosystems as information networks.
Embedded in these networks are the politics of rubber's production – in particular, colonialism and the use of slave labour to harvest it – and the way these issues are erased through corporate greenwashing.


Centre for Contemporary Photography

4 August – 17 September 2017

It has been claimed that plants, when raised in a domestic environments, form a close emotional bond with their human cohabitants. Perhaps plants even grow differently when exposed to heightened human emotions. Continuing my research into this phenomenon in an intuitive, and pseudoscientific manner the video Perennial observes the on–screen dynamics between human and plant performers. In the films and television series' from which I have collected footage, domestic plants have a noticeable presence on the edges of the frame. In this video, their supporting roles are thrust centre screen.

Presented as part of Channels Festival 2017.

Great– Great– Grandplant

Seventh Gallery, Melbourne

18 August – 2 September 2016

“ First, I wondered how exactly I would get inside a plant. I made a conscious decision to let my imagination take over and found myself entering the main stem through a doorway at its base. Once inside, I saw the moving cells and water travelling upward through the stem, and let myself move with the upward flow. Approaching the spreading leaves in my imagination, I could feel myself being drawn from an imaginary world into a realm over which I had no control.” — The Secret Life of Plants, Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, 1973.

In their seminal pseudo-scientific text The Secret Life of Plants, Tompkins and Bird assert that philodendrons have a particular empathy with humans. Great– Great– Grandplant examines the emotional exchange between people and their houseplants.

Merging one's consciousness with a living organism, particularly one known for its affinity with humans is an exercise that may, once mastered, also be applied to more challenging objects, spaces and with some effort the complex and loaded things that are contemporary artworks.

Catalogue essay by Erin Wilson

Awake, Awake

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art

3 – 7 November 2015

Awake, Awake explores the experimental living conditions developed societies currently find themselves in. How do constant stimulation, fragmented rest cycles and heightened levels of stress affect an organism's development and growth? The installation involves disrupting the growth and circadian rhythm of a flowering plant through relentless exposure to artificial light. Exposure to certain wavelengths of light causes the flowers to open, and then close again in darkness. The reflex, which aids survival and reproduction, becomes obsolete in the built environment.

Catalogue essay by Zoe Theodore