Elizabeth van Herwaarden Sentinel Island ProjectOpening: Tuesday 19 April 6-8pm Dates: 19 April-6 May 2011
“The interconnectedness of all things on Earth means that everything we do has consequences that reverberate through the systems of which we are a part.” ‘The Sacred Balance’, David Suzuki, Allen and Unwin, 1999, p.102 In January 2011, I spent 7 days on an uninhabited Island in Bass Strait. On this 25 acres of rocks, tussocks and herbs, one small hut and a water tank, I set about documenting the flora of Sentinel Island. There are 34 different species according to One Hundred Islands: ‘The Flora of the Outer Furneaux’, Harris, Buchanan, Connolly, Tasmanian Government, 2001
‘Pseudognaphalium luteoalbum’ (jersey cudweed) is a medicinal herb that the Aborigines used to make a drink for treating illness. It is native to Australia, New Zealand and Europe. It was the last species I documented on the Island and there was only one specimen; this one small plant in amongst all these other species. When I returned to Williamstown I discovered this same species growing from a crack out the side of Sirens Restaurant.
The interconnectedness and interdependence of all life underpins Elizabeth van Herwaarden’s art practice. The artist works with food, mould and living organisms. Van Herwaarden completed a Bachelor of Fine Art-Painting at the Victorian College of the Arts in 1995. After completing a Master of Visual Art at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2006, she became very interested in Art and Science collaborations. Van Herwaarden undertook a workshop with SymbioticA, based at the University of Western Australia prior to undertaking science and biology courses at the University of Melbourne.