Janet Laurence exhibits the Alchemical Garden of Desire in the French Gallery at McCleland Gallery and Sculpture Park
3 November 2012 – 3 March 2013
Janet Laurence’s art is a synthesis of nature, science and architecture and transverses the disciplines of installation, photography, painting and sculpture. She often uses specific environmental sites as subject to explore ideas of the tangible - of nature in decline and renewal and the intangible - the inherent memories of these sites and the plants and animals that inhabit them. In her most recent body of work, Laurence considers the process of tracing the ‘memory of nature’ through elaborate constructs of glass leaves and vitrines that contain and screen a collection of botanical images, specimens and natural curios. These works stand as a comment upon the volatility of nature whilst performing as a Museum, to protect and memorialise a plant’s history. For her McClelland installation Laurence merges past and present, juxtaposing collected botanical specimens with living samples gleaned from the turn of the Century, Langwarrin garden ‘Cruden Farm’. In this installation Laurence expresses the idea of a garden as protective haven for the botanic.