Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Artist in Residence 2008

In keeping with the ongoing use of the Garden by artists since European settlement and before, over the past four years the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust has offered an annual Artist in Residence Program allowing artists to work in and be inspired by the Royal Botanic Garden and its collections. March saw the closure of the residency of the 2007 Artist in Residence AñA Wojak, and the arrival on the site of our new resident artist Associate Professor Emma Robertson.

'I am inspired by the incredible range of beautiful plants in the gardens, and was delighted to explore the Specimen Room, with its unique artefacts. The staff at the Seedbank were also impressive in their knowledge and work with endangered plant species, which is the theme of my proposed exhibition of mixed media drawings,' said Emma.

Emma’s residency research will culminate in a solo exhibition, titled Ascendant and Descendant, at the Red Box Gallery in early 2009. It will visually explore images of endangered plant species and their seeds, and it aligns with a joint initiative between the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, London, as part of the Millennium Seedbank Project.

Emma added, 'By comparing living fossils - plants which have survived for millions of years - with endangered species today, I hope to draw attention to what we may lose. Not just the beauty of those endangered plants, but also their unique, diverse and irreplaceable contribution to the earth.'

Emma’s work was a recent prizewinner in the International Biennial of Drawing, and three of her artworks were subsequently selected for exhibition at the International Currents Gallery in Chicago, USA. The touring exhibition has also taken the works to France, Germany and Italy, with other countries in Europe to follow in 2008. Her work is in six public collections in four countries, including The Hospital Trust for Scotland.

Click here to view images from Emma’s portfolio of drawings.