Botanical Drift

June 2013 

Walking Kew Gardens

The miniature world of Economic Botany in Kew Gardens is unfurled through plant protagonists: ferns, trees, sea coconuts, other rebel species, and their vegetable philosophies. Colonial plant collections are the site and material for a group of artists, historians, curators, and botanists in the Botanical Drift. The Roundtable Workshop makes the art-research in this series of performances and debates public. Please join us for film screenings, slide shows, and discussions around plant molecular biology, chaotic nature, gender, ecology, and plants as sensory and communicative organisms. Centre for The Study of Contemporary Art, UCL

'And did I not paint?' - Marianne North

‘Flora Exotica: A Pteridomanic Performance’ was a collaborative performance with Hazel Dowling at Kew Gardens, London in 2014. The work considered the Victorian Fern Craze (also known as Pteridomania) as a starting point to consider how our perception of the natural, fashion and misogyny are historically intertwined. The performance was enacted through a repetitive sequence of movements with oversized printed fans. By looking at early women botanists as radical outsiders, we addressed contemporary notions of the artist as a professional amateur.