ACACIA LONGIFOLIAA collaboration between the Plant Sensibilia Machine, Aunty Deidre Martin and the plants and lands of the Dharawal and Dhurga Language Groups on whose land Bundanon and our project resides.

In this film Aunty Deidre Martin reads her poem Acacia longifolia. The sounds of Bundanon: the kookaburra, the whip bird, and the wind in the trees float in and out as she reads. A length of cloth holds the poem and corresponding imagery. It tracks through a heated dye bath where colour from Acacia longifolia leaves are taken up by metal salts printed on the cloth. This work tracks relations between Acacia longifolia and the seasons. The plant is part of the weather patterns and interconnected life cycles of this place. It is part of a weather network, reporting quietly to those who hold knowledge or who stop to observe and care.

DEIDRE MARTIN Deidre Martin is a Walbanga woman of the Yuin Nation. Her connection to country is through her father, who was born in Nowra on the South Coast of NSW. In her work with the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service and her business Bugiya Naway Buridja Aunty Deidre teaches about her Culture to schools and the community. By sharing her Knowledge of Country & Culture she aims to engender a greater awareness, understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal People & Culture. She consulted for the new Campbelltown Hospital. Drawing on her cultural knowledge of plants, bush foods and medicine, she worked closely with artist Erica Seccombe.

LISA GORTON A poet, novelist and essayist, Lisa Gorton has written for the Melbourne Now volume from the National Gallery of Victoria, and for Izabela Pluta’s artwork Apparent Distance in The National (2019) at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Lisa also wrote poems for Pluta’s artist’s book Figures of slippage and oscillation (Perimeter Press, 2021), and for Buxton Contemporary’s multi-disciplinary project This is a Poem (2021). Lisa holds a doctorate in English Literature from Oxford University. Her awards include the Prime Minister’s Prize for Fiction, the NSW People’s Choice Award for Fiction, the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry, and the Philip Hodgkins Memorial Medal. This year, Giramondo published Lisa’s fourth poetry collection, Mirabilia.

The Plant Sensibilia Machine was part of The Tellus Art Project 2022, which was funded through an Australian Research Council Linkage grant, and was a collaboration between UNSW Art and Design, the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens Herbarium, Bundanon and Open Humanities Press. It aims to re-value the plant collection of the Herbarium through the mediation of art.

The Plant Sensibilia Machine: Acacia longifolia
2022 – 23
stainless steel, PVC pipe, bicycle chain, Acacia longifolia leaves collected at Bundanon, water, hemp, linen, printed metal salts, installation view, Siteworks 2022: From a deep valley.
Photo: Sammy Hawker