secret garden

1 - 18 october 2015, long division gallery, schoolhouse studios, melbourne. 1 - 25 november 2015, boyd community hub, city of melbourne

Artists: Elizabeth Barnett, Aaron Billings, Georgia Blackie, Eloise Maree Crossman, Amanda Dziedzic, Ebony Eden, Sandra Eterovic, Luci Everett, Aimee Fitzgerald, Victoria Garcia, Tessy King, Sarah McNeil, Adriana Picker, Cat Rabbit, Edith Rewa, Jessilla Rogers, Ashley Ronning, Rosaleen Ryan, Caitlin Shearer, Julia Trybala, Maddy Young, Emma Weisenekker
Curators: Sophia Cai and Caitlin Shearer

Secret Garden was a group exhibition based on a study and appreciation of plants. This show brought together 22 emerging Australian artists, illustrators and designers to explore the power of plants and all things botanical as a source of artistic inspiration represented through a broad range of mediums including painting, drawing, photography, soft sculpture, glass, printmaking, zines and textiles.

Although plants were the unifying theme, the works in the exhibition explored different aspects of the personal relationship between humans and plants – whether that be one based on beauty, commemoration, memory, awe or companionship. Each artist’s personal experience and interpretation of plants fueled the distinctive imagery for their works. The focus on plants brought up connotations of intimacy, vulnerability, resilience, and growth. In a world of noise and clamour, the silence of plants offered a powerful remedy of respite and calm.

For the opening night Melbourne-based floral studio The Handsome Bloom contributed a large-scale floral centrepiece, and Georgia Blackie assisted with additional floral styling in order to create a truly immersive gallery viewing experience. An accompanying poster/catalogue was also designed by exhibiting artist Sarah McNeil and available for purchase throughout the duration of the show.

The exhibition was initially shown at Long Division Gallery, Schoolhouse Studios in October 2015, and toured to Boyd Community Hub (City of Melbourne) in November 2015.