Tuesday, February 26, 2019

2019 at SeedArtLab


Its almost 10 years since I started this blog. Sadly its going on 2 years since I last posted here. I'm reluctant to close it down for the fact of its wonderful archive of stories on the Art and creativity of many from all around the world ... as well as posts that capture the slowly developing stories from my studio... and some speedy moments too.

Late 2013 I relocated to a new Brisbane home with studio known as
 SeedArtLab ... in the early days it was quite pristine and so organised.
Currently it's cluttered & busy with projects in various stages but with
workshops starting soon a spring-clean will definitely be taking place.

Ive enjoyed the first really big break in a decade since November when a trip to hospital forced a slow down for medical tests until it was clear what was occurring. 

Last year turning 60 it was curious how health matters did come a-begging for attention ... and others also around this same age were likewise sharing stories of dealing with changes in their lives. Glad to say nothing too harsh to make me put away my paintbrushes! In fact once I am in possession of a Sleep Machine & have adjusted to it, I've been told I'll regain energy & focus and be back on track in no time so I'm looking forward to that.

When this blog got going I was terrified of the process of talking about my ideas and work where unknown people could see it. Its hard to believe how the world was then and how it is now. Too much time can be taken up online so its been quite a journey to work out what the purpose was for me.

I started this blog around May 2009 when someone insisted it would be good for me and I finally relented and got started. At first I didnt put my own work up... that seemed wrong... who would look at it and why I remember thinking at the time.

By the end of that year though I'd become quite accustomed to posting ... and enjoyed the conversations with a small community of bloggers I'd discovered.  I didn't like selfies though so only very rarely did I include photos of myself and that hasn't changed.

2010 I began a year long residency at Mt Coot-tha Botanic Garden in Brisbane prompted by a discovery in the middle of 2009 of the Seed Lab at the BBG where I began volunteering in order to learn more about the work of this Seed Lab which was funded initially by the KEW MILLENNIUM SEEDBANK Partnership based in the UK.  I applied to do a residency hoping to pursue The HOMAGE TO THE SEED PROJECT but assuming competition would be too steep and that would be that.

Fortunately (for the part of me that keen enough to hope) that most unexpected phone call came in January 2010 inviting me to come & set up my Homage to the Seed project at Mt Coot-tha.

With a quite minor awareness of Seeds in relation to the history of human life on the planet I had a great deal to learn. Science had not been a focus of my growing up years & even though in the 2000's I was considerably more fascinated by & open to learning about Science I knew I was starting at the beginning.

So I read and conversed and researched and discovered throughout the year, trying to keep up with this new flow of information and all the duties and undertakings that came with the residency... to paint and engage with the public. Discoveries were being recorded in a visual journal and a brand new Homage to the Seed blog where links to websites of interest held a lot of reference material that proved highly useful.

In 2007 I'd begun an MFA at Newcastle University in the Visual Arts Dept... at the same time I was working in schools and trying to keep up my painting practice in my home studio.  Before the end of that year I was dealing with serious illness and a few months later packing up my home and moving to live with family in Brisbane.

A strong desire to undertake a research project pushed me towards to MFA in Newcastle. Once settled  in Brisbane I pondered picking up where I'd left off but in time gravitated to Seed collecting. Out of that questions arose which led to connections with all kinds of organisations & most fortuitously with the Seed Lab at the Botanic Gardens.

I started another blog as well to document my studio archive. Sophie Munns Studio blog is now almost 10 years old ... the last post in 2017... but you will find most of the residencies and main events are recorded there over 6 or 7 years.

Visiting the blogs you'll find images & stories in posts from the journey that followed Mt Coot-tha.
Residencies can be found

2011  October-November UK Study trip and Millennium Seedbank Residency.

2012  May Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland Residency.

2012  October Cairns Botanic Gardens

2014  Plantbank. Australian Botanic Gardens, Mt Annan. NSW

2015  Plantbank. Australian Botanic Gardens, Mt Annan. NSW

2016  Plantbank. Australian Botanic Gardens, Mt Annan. NSW

NB: From 2016 onwards most online posting has been done at either INSTAGRAM: Sophie Munns or FACEBOOK PAGE:  Homage to the Seed.

2017  May The ISF ACADEMY Pokfulum, Hong Kong

2017  November Kellett British International School in Hong Kong

2018  Queensland Academies Creative Industries Kelvin Grove Urban Village, Brisbane

In 2014 I did the first of 3 residencies at PLANTBANK in Sydney, Australia. The photos below come from my time at Plantbank.

Seed Vault at PlantBank

Microscopy room 

X-ray Seed images form the Microscopy Room

Drawing from the collection at PlantBank
2016 PlantBank Exhibition Seed through an Artist's Lens.



In the Atrium where a week was spent working with student on a 16 metre painting that was later hung in this space.

Students working on a section of the 16 metre painting in the Kellett Atrium




Here's to the tenth year of this blog!

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