Vibrant Laneways Program, Fish Lane Brisbane
Commissioned by the Brisbane City Council. the photographs displayed in six light boxes in Fish Lane feature close-up views of seedlings of common garden plants and vegetable. From left to right they show the sporophyte face of broccoli, broad bean, sunflower, cabbage, snow pea and carnation.
Conceptually the work refers to the idea of the communal garden with the title, Hortus Conclusus deriving from the Latin name for a type of enclosed garden that was popular during the Renaissance in Europe. Attached to monasteries and fortified castles the Hortus Conclusus could be seen as the ancestor of all communal gardens, which provided a range of foods and ornamental plants.
Communal gardens also played a crucial role in the life of the early European settlements in Australia. An assortment of seeds from England and subsequently around the world was brought to the new colony on the first boats to ensure the settlers’ survival. Growing food from seeds was often unsuccessful but the plants that did thrive are, like the white settlers only recent arrivals in this country.