The Grass Is Greener…


Lyndal Osborne: telling nature’s story

Lyndal Osborne is coming Regina, and it is such an amazing coincidence, I had no choice but to blog about it.

Art 100 is one of those large first-year classes where existing to the prof would be an accomplishment. Everyone was split into groups that were to present on an artist for 20 minutes. Most of the groups have already gone, but we are presenting this upcoming Tuesday. Lyndal Osborne was our assigned artist.

Lyndal Osborne, in her youth, collected articles from nature from where she lived in Australia, by the sea. Now she lives on an acreage outside Calgary, and has a 4 acre domain to roam. She collects materials and interesting objects that she can use for her art. She is now exclusively an installation artist, assembling the organic items into beautiful works of art. Using nature itself as a medium really speaks the importance of her cause. She is an environmentalist, and will not use any products that harm the environment, especially in her art.

She really has a great sense of how she personally connects with nature, and how universally we need to recognise our responsibility to the natural world we are all tied to. Her own memories of the sea, combined with her more current experiences with the plains, inspire her and are directly evident in her work. She takes note of the small gifts nature has for us, and tries to understand what meaning these small bit’s of life can have for us on a grander scale. With such unique beauty that evokes a spiritual connection, how can their not be some universal order? Through her art, she wishes people to get a sense of the wonder and awe he has experienced, and desires viewers to celebrate life with her. In her more recent works, she focuses on raising awareness for the things we are doing that are destroying this relationship. The destroying of seed banks; polluting the environment; and the altering and experimentation of plants, leading the government to pattern life itself, and leaving third world countries unable to harvest their own vegetation.

In her most recent exhibition, “Darwin and the Ark of Time” (image above), she brings together past and present to show both the beauty that can be discovered and explored, while humanity is destroying the environment at the same time. She created a cabinet that seems to resemble an 18th century botanist’s collection of plants, like that of Darwin’s when he was exploring and categorising the . But this cabinet also resembles a modern laboratory with its metal grating and tubes connecting to plans, possibly chemically altering and manipulating them. It is a beautiful work, but also shows a darker side of what this generation is doing to nature.

Our presentation is on Tuesday, and Lyndal Osborne herself is coming to town and talking at the University of Regina THIS FRIDAY! We emailed her and requested an interview with her after, and she was more than happy to comply. She seems like such a lovely lady, and I feel honoured to meet her and interview her. It’s hard to believe that the woman I have been researching, and have come to respect, will be face to face with me in a day. There must be some order in this world full of particulars.

Well, wich me luck. Hopefully I won’t be dumbstruck, and can really convey my respect and appreciation for her work. And maybe this can give our project the edge we need to get noticed, and give us a great mark.

Till next time,

E

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