Botanica

Nature is a point of departure, a metaphor or literally the material used in the art works made by these four talented artists. Juliana Bartulin, Elise Benamane, Rose Steedman, and Mark Walker all recent graduates from Sydney College of the Arts.

Botanica opened on 19 March and closed on 24 April 2002.

Elise Benamane, intaglio etching and relief prints
Elise Benamane, intaglio etching and relief prints

Elise Benamane is concerned with the materiality of natural forms in contrast to mechanical forms of technology. The subtle surfaces of her prints are reminiscent of weathered patterns from nature. As a calligrapher and print artist, her etchings show the evolution of forms of nature into an artificial language of text, codes and ciphers. These prints were selected for the prestigious 10th Biennial Print and Drawing exhibition in Taipei, Republic of China.

Juliana Bartulin's body of two and three-dimensional pieces titled "soft constraints" work on many levels. Although her work specifically incorporates plant material, such as strings of lavender or a handmade version of plant stamens, she is primarily interested in consciously structuring and slowing down her art-making process in order to explore concepts of time and experience. Her work is attracting significant critical attention and she was awarded an international residency in France and an Australia Council grant for 2003.

Juliana Bartulin, Line lavender
Juliana Bartulin, Line lavender

Rose Steedman's paintings are like exotic flowers that attract our gaze with their luscious colours and delicate patterns. Through the visual sensuality of her images Steedman explores the symbolic and metaphoric associations of the human heart and flowers. For Steedman merging the fleshy structures of plant and body organs creates a new hybrid form where genetic boundaries are blurred.

Mark Walker is a photographer and printmaker, who finds inspiration in plants and microscopic biological forms. He is also interested in exploring scientific classifications and a museological interpretation of artworks.