To realize the ‘Botanical Pavilion’, Kengo Kuma worked alongside Geoff Nees — a melbourne-based artist and curator who has also worked on a number of architectural pavilions. Made in the japanese tradition of wooden architecture, where pieces interlock, held by tension and gravity, the structure at the NGV triennial features a tessellated interior lined with timber collected from trees felled or removed over several years at Melbourne’s royal botanic gardens. Some of the trees used within the architecture pre-date european settlement, while others signal the development of the gardens as a site of scientific research and botanical classification. Prioritizing natural phenomena over scientific order, the botanical species used are color-coded, rather than following any taxonomic order. this approach offers a statement by the designers against the reductive nature of science during the colonial era — a mindset at odds with many indigenous cultural beliefs and knowledge systems.
A fixture for a solar storm
The startling objects of Isabel Nolan’s art take wildly unpredictable forms, — but they are at the same time the fully consistent outcomes of a singular, searching artistic sensibility. Nolan’s works evolve out of almost scholarly processes of investigation — intensive enquiries into cosmological and botanical phenomena, perhaps, or analytical scrutiny of literary and historical texts. These contrasting means of representing reality (and of comprehending its infinitely various components) provide divergent points of departure for Nolan as she attempts to somehow account for the enduring strangeness of the world, even in its most intimately familiar forms.
For Botanical Layers fashion designer Masha Reva teamed up with Syndicate of Kiev to create a sweater collection in which they mashed up a mix of botanical paraphernalia and printed the floral arrangements. The concept of Botanical Layers is that people who are living a contemporary lifestyle, are fully immersed in gadgets, but are always searching for nature.
Parker Fitzgerald and Riley Messina
Inspired by a pursuit of beauty, Riley combines classically thoughtful botanical designs with Parker’s carefully considered film images in an expression of the multifaceted relationship between humankind and nature. The two artists contrast anonymous portraiture with sweeping landscapes in an attempt to capture both the malleable and untamed aspects of the natural world.
Makoto is not your average, vase-based gypsophila arranger – he’s worked with Dior, Helmut Lang, Hermès and even Lego. One large-scale work is called Green Dog House. Another is Botanical Ashtray. ‘I’m focused on elevating the value of flowers and plants by expressing their unique forms. I convert the beauty of nature into artwork.’